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Madisonville Reduces Carbon Footprint through Recycling

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (7/3/13) - The City of Madisonville is helping residents stop throwing money in the trash with its city-wide recycling program known as "Single Stream Recycling."

The program, which began in October, has 2,835 residences that have embraced the project. A free recycling bin, provided by the city, is emptied by city sanitation workers twice a month.
 
Robert Janes, superintendent of the Madisonville Sanitation Department, said recycling has reduced the city's carbon footprint by eliminating 60 tons of material each month from going to the landfill.
 
"We were charged $17 a ton to dispose of that material and we've earned about $73,000 since October for selling it," said Janes.
 
Janes said recycling is a win-win situation for everyone.
 
"We are buying oil from foreign countries to produce plastic," he said. "Then, we're throwing that away and buying more. We could reuse the plastic for much of that."
 
Janes said he has four vendors to choose from that will pick up materials that have been sorted at the sanitation department on McCoy Avenue. After calling on vendors, he goes with the highest offer on specific materials.
 
One of the simplest forms of recycling for residents, the single stream method allows participants to place all accepted materials into the bin without having to compartmentalizing them.
 
Items like newspaper, magazines, plastic bottles, aluminum cans and cardboard boxes can be placed unsorted into the bins for pickup, according to Madisonville Director of Customer Service Leslie Curneal.

"We have also formed a partnership with (Madisonville-North Hopkins High School) instructor Maria Bailey of environmental studies working with students that will be promoting recycling at school," said Curneal. "Those students will also be at the Friday Night Live events to encourage recycling."
 
While items like tree limbs, leaves and other debris cannot be recycled, those items are picked up by the city sanitation department on a regular schedule.
 
Participation in the recycling program and recycling bins are provided to residents free of charge.

To register for the program, visit Madisonville City Hall, the Sanitation Department or go to the City's website at www.madisonvillegov.com.
 
Rita Dukes Smith
SurfKY News
Video by Wayne Vespie

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