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Friday, April 17, 2015 - 12:09pm

On Earth Day, A Behind-The-Scenes Look At Recycling (SLIDESHOW)

Each Earth Day we’re reminded to “reduce, reuse, and recycle.” But recycling options vary widely depending on where you live.
Residents of the City of Savannah are issued yellow-topped containers for recycling many common products, but it’s a little more complicated for those living outside the city’s recycling zone. In other parts of Chatham County, residents can bring recyclables to drop-off areas 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. One location is 1321 Eisenhower Drive.

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The facility accepts most major recyclables, but not flurescent lights, styrofoam, paint, or TVs. In addition to the standard paper, glass, and aluminum collection, the facility also takes used cooking oil and motor oil, scrap metal and old electronics, whether they work or not.

Jabari Brown, an attendant at the center, says even though the site takes in a lot of materials, he strives to keep the facility looking clean.

"We really try not to make it look like a dump and keep everything organized," Brown says. “Our goal is not to just have Savannah or Chatham county recycle, but all of Georgia.”
All of the metal products that are dropped off at the center go to Southern Metals Recycling. Southern Metals then sells the scrap metal to a variety of customers.

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Beyond reducing landfill use and making the best use of existing resources, another goal of waste management is to protect the area’s water supply, says Laura Walker, an environmental administrator for Savannah’s Water Resources Department.

“Protecting our valuable resources, especially water, is important and our citizens have the power to make better choices when choosing products,” Walker says.

Walker says Earth Day is a good time to remind residents to properly dispose of hazardous materials like insecticides, fertilizers, and paint. But Walker says it’s also important to think twice before purchasing harmful materials.

“Take the time to figure it out when consuming to get the right amount so you don’t have leftovers, and read the labels.”she says. "Then if there is an excess, properly dispose of the materials so they don't get into the water supply."

Paint is a tricky substance to dispose of, the Chatham paint center at 1116 Montgomery Cross rd. takes old paint, there is a small processing fee of $3 per gallon. The Batteries Plus on Hodgson Memorial Drive is a resource for returning spent light bulbs and batteries. The store complies with all EPA and DOT regulations that govern the disposal of these products.

Walker says the City of Savannah will host a hazardous waste collection event this fall.

This weekend, the city is teaming up with WellFed to host the annual Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 18 in Forsyth Park. The event kick offs with the weekly Forsyth Farmers Market at 9 a.m., with workshops and other activities beginning at 11 a.m.