Tuesday, July 21, 2015

TOP STORY >> Chance to win with recycling

Leader staff writer

Recycle Advantage is a Pulaski County-wide program to educate and promote recycling by offering weekly and monthly prizes.

Carol Bevis, with the Regional Recycle and Waste Reduction District, briefed the Jacksonville City Council on the program last Thursday.

Jacksonville residents already recycle more than 1.2 million pounds a year.

Bevis gave away tickets to the Little Rock Zoo and Arkansas Travelers games at the meeting to show those attending the type of prizes one can win. She said there are weekly drawings and monthly drawings. In the three months that the program has been operating, Jacksonville residents have won two of the three big monthly prizes.

She told the council that, to be eligible for the prizes, all one had to do was register at regionalrecycling.org.

“The idea for the program, Bevis said, “is to promote recycling in Pulaski County by offering local prizes and discounts. It also promotes area businesses through the incentive program.

“The more we can recycle, the less we’ll fill up our landfills. Some of our county landfills only have five or six years left,” Bevis said.

Besides the county-wide drawings, Bevis said, at certain times, the mayor and county judge will be out on “recycling patrols.” When they spot someone recycling, they might stop and reward that person with a $50 bill, Bevis explained.

She told the council that, this fall, the incentive program, in a slightly different format, will be offered in area schools. Grant money will be available for schools to start their own recycling programs, too.

In 2014, Jacksonville collected, processed and sold 1,223,190 pounds of recyclables, saving the city $13,699.61 in landfill fees. The recycling center drive-thru served 8,156 customers, a 4 percent increase from 2013.

According to Randy Watkins with the public works department, revenues from recyclable goods totaled $77,191.78. More than 11,000 used tires were recycled in 2014, along with 66,000 pounds of electronics.

Watkins said this year’s numbers would be as good or better. “We are as busy as ever at the recycling facility,” Watkins said.