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Ironton woman named ‘Recycler of the Year’

A little more than a year ago, Ironton resident Betty Guthrie had an idea.

By recycling old paper and cardboard and other reusable material, she could make a little money for three mission programs at her church.

The idea was apparently a good one.

It has mushroomed over the months and now has earned her the accolades of her community.

Guthrie was given the first-ever “Kudos for Caring Recycler of the Year” award Tuesday by the Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste Management District during a ceremony at the solid waste office on North Fifth Street.

“This is to recognize you and all your efforts in recycling,” Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste District Director Dan Palmer said. “We greatly appreciate your efforts.”

Guthrie goes weekly to the Lawrence County Courthouse and to homes throughout the city, collecting recyclables that she then takes to the Rumpke, Inc., buyback facility in Hamilton Township.

The money she gets for the recyclables is then donated to First Presbyterian, which then makes donations to the Ironton City Mission, First Methodist Church Food pantry and a project to drill wells in Africa.

In the roughly 18 months she has been recycling, she has collected $875 for the outreach projects. When asked how many pounds of material she has saved from the landfill, she said she had no idea.

“I take as much as I can get in my car,” she said. Her stepson, Randy Guthrie, estimated she had recycled probably a thousand pounds of material.

Guthrie said she does not do this alone. Some members of her church help and she is thankful for it.

“It’s something that’s growing and growing and I enjoy doing it,” she said. Then looking around the room at the reporters assembled she added modestly, “But I don’t like all this publicity.”

For her good deeds, Guthrie received a certificate, a blue wheeled trash can and the praise of numerous city and county leaders.

Palmer described Guthrie as “fantastic” and added, “I wish we had more people like her.”