Program rewards those who recycle

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 17, 2008

PROCTORVILLE — Stan Coates of Proctorville wasn’t quite sure what was going on one day last week when he and his wife, Janet, pulled up to put paper and plastic items in the recycling containers at Food Fair and were met by people ready to shake their hands.

“They sort of surprised me,” Stan Coates said. “I had not realized what they were doing at first but it was a lovely surprise.”

“They” were staffers with the Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste Management District, armed with a $25 Wal-Mart gift card. The Coates were the January winners of Caught Green-handed. Each month the solid waste district officials visit a recycling container site in each of the two counties and reward people randomly caught being environmentally responsible. It is volunteerism with benefits.

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“The response to the program has been overwhelming,” Solid waste education coordinator Stephanie Helms said. “We have had people call us and ask us where we will be so they can get caught. Some of them say, ‘Can we get caught this month?’ Normally, people don’t want to get caught doing something, but this is different. This is really funny.”

For the Coates’ recycling is a chance to do something for their community. Stan Coates said he and his wife visit at least once a week. They’ve been involved in recycling for probably two years.

“I just felt better knowing I was doing something,” Coates said.

And he said he also feels good knowing there are others in the community who feel the same way he does.

“Evidently a lot of people are doing it. The containers seem to be full quite often. It’s a great program,” he said. “People are using it and people should use it. This is good for the environment.”