Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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December 10, 2012

Goshen councilwoman encourages residents to recycle over holidays

GOSHEN — The holidays generate a lot of fun memories, from cooking big meals to opening that long-desired present.

But the holidays also generate a lot of waste — particularly in those very memories people enjoy making. According to the national Clean Air Council, citing a study by the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, an additional million tons of waste is generated each week between Thanksgiving and New Year’s every year.

Councilwoman Dixie Robinson urged residents to consider recycling all they can this holiday season and beyond.

“Help our landfills and natural resources last longer,” Robinson said. “As citizens of the world, we need to recycle all that we can.”

There are six recycling facilities in Goshen, located at East Goshen Mennonite Church, Goshen College, Salvation Army, Shanklin Park, Martin’s Supermarket and Ox Bow Park, according to a pamphlet from the Elkhart County Solid Waste Management District. Robinson said the sites are spread all over the city to make it easier for people to recycle.

“My daughter got me into it,” Robinson said. “I have my plastic tubs that I sort my recycling into and I take them whenever they get full.”

Tim Neese serves as the director for the Elkhart County Solid Waste Management department, and he said the county regularly reaches a 50 percent annual recycling rate, which a good achievement and a goal often seen nationwide, he said.

“There is an on-going effort between local businesses and homeowners to recycle,” he said.

There are a total of 16 recycling drop-off centers in Elkhart County, Neese said. While he said there are seasonal fluctuations in the amount recycled, a good percentage of county residents make trips to the centers.

“I see the benefits of recycling as two points,” Neese said. “It obviously saves landfill space, and it also generates by-products, and these by-products serve as a job developer.”

Even if you cannot handle the task of recycling, Robinson urged residents to ask family members, friends and neighbors who recycle if they can take their recyclables, too.

Programs are available to pick up recyclables for a fee. The Goshen Re-Cycles program through the Chain Reaction Bicycle Project gives residents living within the service area, from Third Street east to 16th Street and Madison Street south to Leroy Street and in the Prairieview Elementary and Waterford Crossing area, another option than taking their own recycling to the drop-off locations.

The program picks up recycling on the second and fourth Wednesday of every month in special bins for an $8 per month fee, with a one-time $15 start-up fee. The program is “bicycle-powered,” and serves as a way to provide “a necessary city service with fair wage work for people with low income,” according to the organization’s website.

“Over half of our customers choose to pay more than the minimum service as a donation to CRBP,” the website states. “Because of these generous customers, we are able to keep our service fee low enough to be accessible to nearly anyone.”

More information, including how to sign up for the program, is available through their website www.crbp.org, or at 903-3056.

Household hazardous waste also has specialized disposal centers throughout the county, according to the Solid Waste Management office. They also have instructions on how to dispose of potentially harmful or dangerous items, from flammable liquids to prescription drugs and large home appliances, on their website, elkhartcountyindiana.com/departments/wastemanagement, or through their office, found at 500 N. Nappanee St., Elkhart, or by phone at 293-2269. The next household hazardous waste event will be held Jan. 5.

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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