Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

August 2, 2013

Recycling effort off to fast start

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat — In the couple of months since Pauls Valley’s first recycling center opened, the community has wasted no time embracing it as a resource.

The sentiment during a recent meeting among the recycling initiative members like Tye Jacobson and Erin Babcock was only made more positive when Garvin County Community Living Center CEO Cathy Cash noted how people are using it to the point of actually creating overflow.

This prompted discussion on how to take it the next step further from organizing smaller groups to dedicate certain areas to clean up areas around Pauls Valley while collecting recyclables to even raising funds to build a second location to handle the demand in another part of town.

“We are having an issue keeping it empty on the weekend,” said Cash, adding how they still want to put up a sign thanking the donors as well as current updated info for the public nearby as soon as possible.

Babcock added how on days like Saturday and Sunday people might even leave bags of recyclables sitting near a full bin, which was followed by the suggestion to have larger bins constructed in the meantime.

There was even discussions on also having a demonstration area established where classrooms could be brought to the area to learn more friendly environmental habits next to the drop off location.

However, those at the meeting agreed before they could move forward with anything else ambitious the first step now is finding more people to volunteer to get involved in expanding and educating in the community.

Living Center representative Chip Pearson noted how those involved have done quite a bit already, but it will take additional volunteers to reduce the workload and spread the impact in the future.

“We’re at a point if we really want to promote education, if we want to expand it, what we need is more people that want to look at it from a community standpoint, but will do some leg work too,” said Pearson, who was followed by Cash’s suggestion of needing about six or seven people minimum to step up. “We really need some people who will stretch their legs.”

“The thing for me is getting more people involved,” said Jacobson.

Cash and Pearson also took time to address some common questions they had received since opening the center, many of them focusing on what goes where and how to identify different types of plastic. Much of it comes down to the habit of practice and for plastics, this is usually separated by a symbol imprinted as well as surrounded by the three familiar arrows, of which this center takes numbers 1-4.

“We’ve had to really rethink our handling of the materials,” said Pearson, noting how they’ve also reminded people on several occasions that the drop off location along South Walnut Street next to the Valley Farmers Market is accessible 24 hours a day. “Maybe to the point of opening a second location.”

For more information on volunteering or questions about the initiative call Cash at 405-238-0335 or 405-237-3773.