Among the speakers at Monday’s program kick-off were Congressman Hal Rogers, Pulaski County Judge-Executive Barty Bullock, Somerset Mayor Eddie Girdler, Waste Connections divisional vice-president Dave Wiggins, and Pulaski County 109 Board chairman Joe Dungan (the 109 board is an government-provided entity dealing with solid waste).
Rogers’ efforts founded the local environmental organization PRIDE (Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment), which helped make the curbside recycling program possible.
“Today, Pulaski County sets the standard that other Kentucky communities will strive to match in their solid waste management programs,” said Rogers. “I commend Gerald Hines for his leadership, and I thank Waste Connections for their support in making this happen.”
“PRIDE has changed the mindset of a generation,” he added. “Today, our children are helping to educate their parents and grandparents about the value of being environmentally friendly. It’s important our children practice what they learn in school and recycling at home is important for their future. Recycling saves natural resources, supplies our manufacturers with affordable materials and reduces the energy used in production.”
Additionally, Hines was presented with a "Hal Rogers Difference Maker" Award in recognition of his exemplary leadership and dedication to recycling and environmental education in southern Kentucky, including his steadfast partnership with the PRIDE organization.
"Curbside recycling is part of the bigger picture that PRIDE initialized 15 years ago, encouraging people across southern and eastern Kentucky to do their part to clean up the environment," said Rogers. "Our youth are leading the way in our schools with 55 student-designed recycling projects. Their eagerness to participate in PRIDE activities have helped spark interest in volunteers of all ages."
Wiggins praised Pulaski County for investing in a “top notch” recycling center.
“We are very pleased to be part of this ground-breaking service in Pulaski County, and we hope it will be a model that spurs recycling in other Kentucky communities,” said Wiggins. “Our company began in western states where customers expect sustainability, so recycling has long been a top priority in our business plan.”