By CHRIS HARRIS, CJ Staff Writer Commonwealth Journal
It’s not easy being green without a little extra “green” in the coffers — and that’s something Pulaski County now has.
The Pulaski County Recycling Center received a financial boost of $132,032.69 in state money to purchase much-needed equipment and help spread the word about the importance of properly disposing of recyclable materials.
Tom Heil, an environmental scientist with the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection, was on hand to present a check worth the hefty amount to Pulaski Solid Waste Coordinator Gerald Hines on Tuesday.
Hines said that his center has a wish list of items that the money will help pay for.
“We applied for some recycling trailers, and also 10 mini-cyclers, designed to go into schools ors businesses to drop off cardboard, plastics, things like that,” said Hines. “We’ve got all those items, and also a trailer to pull the green recycling trailers that go to schools, parks, fire departments.”
One of those big green trailers — becoming more and more of a noticeable sight around the county — was recently placed at Beacon Hill Baptist Church.
“The folks at the church have wanted one for some time, so we’re just trying to touch bases with a new group of people where there are large groups of paper, and ... make it more convenient for those people to drop off recyclables.”
Another use for the money will be advertising. Since the recycling center opened in 2007, officials have been trying to increase awareness of the service among a county for which a large-scale recycling facility is relatively now. Ads in the newspaper, on radio, billboards, and whatever other appropriate means will be a focus.
“When we started this, it was new to a majority of folks in the community; some folks who moved here was used to recycling where they were, especially if they were from bigger cities,” said Hines.
“But our local community has really adopted this,” he added. “I’ve seen everybody from the elder generation to the youngest kids at school. It’s really been a growing thing. I’m proud of everyone.”
The money will purchase two new trailers and three green box containers, said Hines. Some items have yet to be purchased; others, such as the trailers and some advertising space, have already been acquired, with the state funds to help pay for them.
“We’ve been successful each year in getting money,” said Hines. “We’ll continue to apply each year I’m here, and as long as funds are available.”