Recycling programs make sense #045; and cents

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 17, 2004

I learned about recycling when I was a young boy working with my Dad on the trash truck.

Of course, I do not remember anyone calling it recycling then.

My Dad would take the fruit boxes and trade them for apples; the meat boxes he sold to a local butcher for a few cents a box; he sold the cardboard to someone who took it to Mead; and he recycled anyway he could because it made business sense and he did not want to waste anything.

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Unfortunately, this can lead to being a packrat, which I inherited from both sides of my family.

Recycling is something we all do to a certain extent - whether we are aware of it or not.

Yard sales and garage sales are the way to turn one person's trash into another's treasure.

Many of us save grocery bags for uses around the house and still others save and reuse everything from mason jars to plastic food tubs. Recycling is a concept that results in a win-win situation.

By recycling or reusing, we save energy, money and above all, landfill space.

And considering that the average Ohioan throws away 4.4 pounds of garbage every day, conserving space is key.

Of course one way to reduce the amount of trash going into landfills is to increase the amount that is recycled.

But despite all the positive aspects of recycling, many individuals see the endless task of sorting trash and carting it to the local drop-off station as just too burdensome, and much of the recyclables end up in the garbage with the rest of the trash.

Additionally, many more communities have discontinued or cut back on recycling because of budget constraints or lack of participation.

That's why I am pleased that the ODNR Division of Recycling and Litter Prevention offers the Recycle, Ohio! Grant to counties, solid waste districts (SWDs) and cities with a population of greater than 50,000 to implement statewide solid waste reduction, recycling, recycling market development and litter prevention programs.

Applications for the grant are available in June and are due in late August of the year prior to the grant year (Jan. 1 to Dec. 31).

Each applicant's population determines base Allocation Amounts.

Recycle, Ohio! Grant funds can be used for the purchase of products made from at least 10 percent post-consumer recycled-content material.

Products purchased must be used in public facilities.

Grant programs purchase the items on their own or in cooperation with school districts, counties and other political subdivisions within their jurisdiction.

Fifty-one Recycle, Ohio! Grant recipients used part of their funds to help pay for residential curbside recycling collection programs, recycling drop-off centers and special recycling collection drives in 2003.

For more information on Recycling, and the Recycle Ohio! Grant, visit the DRLP Web site at;.

Recycling is imperative to saving not only landfill space in our state, but energy as well.

Take for example, aluminum.

It takes 95 percent less energy to recycle aluminum than create it from raw materials.

Recycling one pop can saves enough energy to power a TV for three hours or a 100-watt light bulb for four hours!

Furthermore, recycling contributes $30 billion to our state's economy each year and provides about 169,000 jobs - something we are in desperate need of.

I believe one of the best ways to increase recycling in our communities is to teach younger generations the importance of not wasting anything.

Many senior citizens learned about the benefits of recycling before the existence of any government programs because they grew up in a time when they were taught "waste not, want not."

By following this creed, we can all help to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Sen. John Carey represents Ohio’s 17th Senate District. Write to him at: Sen. John A. Carey, Ohio Senate, Statehouse, Columbus, Ohio 43215, or call (614) 466-8156.