City celebrates recycling increase

Submitted by the Dalton-Whitfield Regional Solid Waste Management Authority 
Daily Citizen News

In 2008, Mayor David Pennington challenged city residents to increase the amount of curbside recycling. Dalton residents rose to the challenge by increasing curbside recycling efforts by 50 percent — from 598 tons in 2007 to 896 tons in 2008. 

In 2008, the Dalton public works department distributed an additional 1,625 blue recycling bins to residents. Benny Dunn, public works director, and City Councilwoman Denise Wood remind residents to do their part, get a bin, fill it up and put it by the curb to be picked up. If you recycle, talk to your neighbor who doesn’t. Tell them how easy it is. Tell them how much more room there is in your garbage can. If you’re a resident who is actively recycling, keep up the good work and thank you.

While a 50 percent increase in curbside recycling is notable, there is still room for improvement. According to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, at least 30 percent of all household garbage is recyclable. 

The benefits of curbside recycling are tangible and immediate. Last year alone, the city reduced expenses by more than $23,072 in avoided disposal fees and saved more than 1,490 cubic yards of landfill space. Additionally, the city earned more than $26,880 in shared revenue from the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority, which processes and markets the recycled materials.

Residents of Dalton recycled more than 627 tons of mixed paper in 2008, which saved more than 10,659 trees. The 4.5 tons of aluminum cans recycled by Dalton residents in 2008 saved the energy equivalent of 14,063 gallons of gasoline or 3 kilowatt hours of electricity. 

Curbside recycling is important — for the environment and for the city budget. If you’re a city resident and you don’t have a blue recycling bin, please contact public works at (706) 278-7077. Bins are available to city residents free of charge. Materials which may be recycled include mixed paper, cardboard, newspapers, magazines, plastic bottles (No. 1 & 2), glass bottles and jars, bi-metal cans and aluminum cans.