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Group offers 'green' tips for new year

Keep Covington-Newton Beautiful is offering tips on how to make some positive changes for the New Year.

"While environmental resolutions may be less traditional, they are just as worthy; and they are also more easily attained. Resolve to 'Go Green' for the New Year!" KCNB Program Education Specialist Laurie Riley said.

Riley suggests these ideas for green resolutions that are easy to implement and can make a lasting impact:

Recycle

Sort trash into recyclable categories such as newspaper, cardboard, aluminum, glass and plastic and take it to a Neighborhood Recycling Center. Many private trash pickup services offer several recycling options. Those living inside the city of Covington can request bins and leave recyclables at the curb. In addition to reducing the amount of waste deposited into the landfill, recycling also reduces the amount of energy used to produce new products and saves precious natural resources.

Consider recycling as a fundraising option for your church, club or other charitable organization. An individual can take recyclables to the city of Covington Recycling Center on Turner Street and have proceeds given to the nonprofit organization or group of his or her choice.

Accepted items include tin, aluminum, glass, newspaper, mixed paper, white paper, cardboard and plastic. The payout for tin is $0.005 per pound. Tin includes soup and juice cans, and most fruit and vegetable cans. To recycle tin cans, empty and rinse them and remove any labels.

The payout for aluminum is $0.30 per pound. Aluminum includes most beverage and soda cans. To recycle aluminum cans, first rinse and flatten them.

For glass, the payout is $0.01 per pound. Glass includes clear, brown and green glass. To recycle glass, remove lids and any metal and rinse. Labels may remain.

Newspaper includes newspaper and all inserts and pays $0.0075 per pound. Mixed paper and white paper pay $0.005 per pound. Mixed paper includes magazines, catalogs and phone books. White paper includes copy and office paper, as well as notebook paper.

For cardboard, the payout is $0.01 per pound. Cardboard includes cardboard boxes, brown paper bags and brown envelopes.

Plastic pays $0.005 per pound. Plastic includes milk, beverage, shampoo and detergent bottles. When recycling plastic bottles, always remove lids. Lids are made from a different type of plastic, and they cannot be recycled in Newton County's recycling system.

Ask the attendant at the recycling center to weigh recyclables. Then record totals in a book with your organization's name and contact information. The group will receive a check each quarter according to the weight of the recyclables collected and recorded under its name in the book. If the organization is not already in the book, add it to the "New Organizations" book. Be sure to include contact information. If the total comes to less than $5, it will be added to the next quarter's check.

Volunteer

Get involved in neighborhood cleanup and recycling events. Volunteer to serve on a committee and help teach others the benefits of thinking environmentally.

Recycle Electronics

Those who received a new TV for Christmas or are planning on tossing out their current set due to the upcoming digital transition can get rid of it in a way that doesn't harm the environment.

KCNB encourages everyone to recycle old TVs and electronics on the first Saturday of each month from 8 a.m. to noon at the Newton County Landfill at 205 Lower River Road in Covington.

Old TVs contain up to eight pounds of lead each. Lead in the set protects you from radiation, but when the TV is crushed in a garbage truck, lead can leach out. Lead can affect any system in the body, but most commonly, it can cause nervous system damage. If TVs are illegally dumped, lead can leach into the environment and people can be exposed to it through ingesting contaminated dust and soil or from drinking groundwater.

Many recycling companies charge fees to dispose of TVs, but Newton County residents can recycle old TVs at the landfill for free. Electronics Waste Management, in Conyers, picks up the TVs and other electronics from the landfill when containers are full.

For more information about any of these resolution ideas, call Keep Covington/Newton Beautiful at 770-784-2015 or e-mail newtonclean@co.newton.ga.us.