DARKE COUNTY - Today is Earth Day, marking the anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970.
Sara Cullin, senior corporate communication coordinator for Rumpke Waste and Recycling, was recently in town and offered to provide some tips on recycling right.
“You already know recycling is an easy way to ‘be green,’ “Cullin said. “Recycling conserves natural resources, landfill space and even energy. But are you doing it right?”
Here are some tips she provided:
Check the list (not the label)
“Just because an item is labeled ‘recyclable’ or has the ‘chasing arrows’ on the bottom, doesn’t mean it should go into your recycling bin,” Cullin said.
Rumpke, she said, accepts these items for recycling:
· Plastic bottles and jugs
· Aluminum and metal cans
· Glass bottles and jars
· Cardboard and paper
· Cartons (such as juice and milk cartons)
“There may be other outlets for recycling the ‘other stuff’ like plastic bags, which are often collected at grocery stories,” she said. “Check with the Darke County Solid Waste District for recycling and disposal events for things like tires, paint, electronics, etc.”
“Rumpke currently accepts plastics in the shape of a bottle or jug, only. You may leave on the caps and lids (squeeze out the air and tightly reattach the cap),” Cullin said. “You can recycle pizza boxes as long as they are clean. If the bottom of the box is greasy, just recycle the lid.”
She went on, “Recycle paper. Paper takes up more landfill space than anything else Americans throw away, yet almost any kind of paper can go into your recycling bin (discard of paper plates, napkins, etc.). Magazines, junk mail, office paper and even phone books can be recycled.”
Recycling technology is always changing, according to Cullin.
“Stay up-to-date by being connected,” she said. “Follow Rumpke on Twitter (@RumpkeNews) or Facebook www.facebook.com/RumpkeCo where news and tips are shared. You can also watch videos of the recycling process at Youtube.com/RumpkeCleanAndGreen.”
Cullin said there are two options to recycling.
“Curbside recycling service is available to City of Greenville residents at no additional charge,” she said.
The other option is a drop box for recycling that can be seen in various villages in the county.
There are about 26 recycling drop-off boxes in Darke County plus other areas.
“You can find the nearest locations by visiting [www.rumpkerecycling.com]www.rumpkerecycling.com and typing your zip code into the locator tool,” she said. “Also this site has some good info [www.co.darke.oh.us]www.co.darke.oh.us”
The idea came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, Calif. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. Senator Nelson announced the idea for a “national teach-in on the environment” to the national media; persuaded Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman, to serve as his co-chair; and recruited Denis Hayes as national coordinator. Hayes built a national staff of 85 to promote events across the land.
As a result, on the 22nd of April, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.
As 1990 approached, a group of environmental leaders asked Denis Hayes to organize another big campaign. This time, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage. Earth Day 1990 gave a huge boost to recycling efforts worldwide and helped pave the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. It also prompted President Bill Clinton to award Senator Nelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1995) — the highest honor given to civilians in the United States — for his role as Earth Day founder.
As the millennium approached, Hayes agreed to spearhead another campaign, this time focused on global warming and a push for clean energy. With 5,000 environmental groups in a record 184 countries reaching out to hundreds of millions of people, Earth Day 2000 combined the big-picture feistiness of the first Earth Day with the international grassroots activism of Earth Day 1990. It used the Internet to organize activists, but also featured a talking drum chain that traveled from village to village in Gabon, Africa, and hundreds of thousands of people gathered on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Earth Day 2000 sent world leaders the loud and clear message that citizens around the world wanted quick and decisive action on clean energy.
The fight for a clean environment continues in a climate of increasing urgency, as the ravages of climate change become more manifest every day.