KCNB launches new recycling initiative

COVINGTON - Keep Covington/ Newton Beautiful has a new statewide recycling awareness campaign to boost recycling in the state of Georgia.

The campaign "You Gotta Be Kidding!" was developed by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA). As a part of the new recycling awareness campaign, DCA developed a few fictitious characters to give a humorous spotlight on misconceptions about recycling.

Tommy Krenshaw, or "Flat Tommy," as KCNB calls him, is one of the most familiar characters. He performs an act saying he will find a new planet to live on once this planet is filled up with all the materials that he and others refused to recycle.

Sharing Tommy's lack of enthusiasm for recycling is Maria Inez-Phillips. Maria claims she can't be bothered with recycling because she has too many magazines to sort through.

Tommy and Maria have profiles on KCNB's Web site (www.yougottabekidding.org), where they support their humorous claims.

"The absurd nature of what these campaign characters say contradicts sharply with the many logical reasons to recycle," said Randy Hartman, director of the Office of Environmental Management. "Because unlike what Tommy may say, we can't just find another planet to live on when we have used up our natural resources. People interacting with this campaign will come away thinking that, in light of these silly alternatives, recycling is a pretty simple proposition."

The campaign was made to target 25- to 34-year-olds. Research shows that although this is a group that is less likely to recycle, they are easier to motivate.

Findings from a solid waste characterization study revealed that approximately 40 percent of the trash Georgians throw away is actually recyclable. These findings coincide with a recent Georgia Department of Community Affairs survey that showed 45 percent of Georgians do not regularly recycle.

There are, however, several recycling programs for Newton County residents in addition to the use of the Neighborhood Recycling Centers located throughout the county. One is curbside recycling, where upon request workers come to Covington and Oxford homes to pick up recyclables. A second program is away from home recycling. Through this program, someone who may be hosting a large public event can call the KCNB hotline number at 770-784-2015 and borrow a trailer with approximately 100 recycling containers.

Another program is the hazardous home and e-cycle pick up. On the first Saturday of every month, except for the July 4 holiday, workers will come to a resident's home and pick up electronics, such as televisions, paints and pesticides. On any day those items can be left at the Newton County Landfill located at 205 Lower River Road, between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m.

"Recycling is one simple thing that each of us can do to make a significant difference for the environment," said Connie Waller, KCNB executive director.

KCNB is a nonprofit public organization dedicated to improving the community's environment. Along with their mascot Seymore Green and their many dedicated volunteers, KCNB strives to educate Newton County residents about "environmental problems, impacts and solutions."

DCA invites Georgia residents to the campaign Web site, www.yougottabekidding.org, to read facts about recycling. To find out more information about KCNB programs call 770-784-2015 or visit to kcnb@co.newton.ga.us. To find the closest one of the 11 Newton County recycling centers to you, visit www.co.newton.ga.us.