Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

REDUCE, REUSE AND RECYCLE; the Georgia Recycling Commission Hosts Its Annual Meeting for Organizations and Companies to Convene and Swap Ideas

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

REDUCE, REUSE AND RECYCLE; the Georgia Recycling Commission Hosts Its Annual Meeting for Organizations and Companies to Convene and Swap Ideas

Article excerpt

Byline: JESSIE CLAVIN

After forming with about a dozen members 17 years ago, the Georgia Recycling Commission can now boast more than 300 members and a lot of unused space in landfills.

The organization's 17th annual Trade Show and Membership Meeting will conclude today on St. Simons Island. Local and state waste management organizations gleaned ideas from each other and from innovative salvage and recycling companies that turn waste into usable products.

Suki Jannsen of the Athens-Clarke County Recycling Division said the meeting "allows us to take away contacts and ideas that can help us."

Keep Bulloch Beautiful's Brooke Carney agreed, saying she had learned ideas to improve the process in her county. The two had prepared a workshop on Make and Take Green Kits, which showed various products in different phases of their lives as recyclables, such as athletic shoes that are ground up and turned into surfaces for athletic tracks. The kits can be used for educating both interested adults and students in recycling.

There were displays of carpet made from recycled plastic bottles, a vendor that collects used clothing for resale in developing nations, pens made from plastic foam cups from Yankee Stadium and pencils made from newspapers and tires.

"There are businesses and individuals here that I never would have expected," said Jansen, who has attended the conference for five years.

The recycling industry received a huge boost when the Georgia Department of Community Affairs conducted a study of the solid waste buried in landfills across Georgia in 2005. The study found that about 25 percent of that waste was recyclable paper and 11 percent was recyclable metals and other materials. Expansion of recycling programs could reduce impact in landfills by approximately 2 million tons each year, the study found.

Georgia's large paper and carpet industries are well positioned to make use of recycled materials.

"The Georgia public wants to recycle," said John Patterson of family-owned Metal Conversion Technologies, or MCT. …

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