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Bulloch gets $288K to expand recycling program

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    Bulloch County was named along with Griffin, Savannah and Valdosta-Lowndes County to receive a total of $2.2 million in state grants during the 29th Annual Keep Georgia Beautiful Awards Luncheon in Atlanta. The grants come from the state’s Solid Waste Trust Fund (SWTF) to implement four new regional recycling collection programs.
    Brooke Carney, director for Keep Bulloch Beautiful, accepted the second place State Affiliate Award for Keep Bulloch Beautiful and was happy about the $288,000 grant.
    Carney said, “Bulloch County has been a recycling leader in our area of the state for over 14 years. This grant will allow our community to expand our existing programs as well as provide assistance to other communities in our region.”
    Bulloch County was selected for the grant based upon its efforts to significantly reduce the amount of recyclables being disposed and gain support for their efforts. Also, Bulloch was selected based upon a strong mix of urban and rural areas and curbside and drop-off recycling programs as well as its geographic location.
    Enhanced recycling opportunities for Bulloch residents include voluntary pilot curbside recycling in Statesboro, a new drop-off recycling center in Brooklet, a recycling program at Ogeechee Technical College, increased efficiency of the Bulloch County Schools’ recycling program, and expansion of Georgia Southern University’s recycling program.
    Communities around Bulloch that would benefit from the grant include Pembroke, Claxton, Evans County, Sylvania, Metter, Candler County and Effingham County. These partner communities will enhance the recycling services provided to their residents with a combination of drop-off centers and voluntary curbside pilot recycling. Other communities will be invited to join Bulloch in this partnership as well.
    Bob Smith, public facilities director for Bulloch County, is in charge of the county’s recycling program and expansion.  
    “We’ve seen a tremendous increase in recycling over the past few years, and this expansion will allow us to process the material more efficiently,” Smith said. “The grant will also provide means for smaller communities in our area to offer recycling programs by bringing their material to Bulloch County.”
    Because of an increase in the volume and types of materials recycled, Bulloch  already had plans to expand its current materials processing facility, which will be partially funded through SPLOST. The state funds will allow for the expansion to include equipment and materials needed to accept single stream material as well as a larger daily volume of recyclables. Specifically, the $288,000 awarded in grant funds will be used to purchase collection containers, vehicles, and processing equipment as well as to assist with construction materials.
    “Recycling is a source of revenue for the county and this expansion will make recycling more cost effective while allowing Bulloch County and surrounding residents to make environmentally responsible choices about where their garbage goes,” said Carney.  
    The voluntary pilot curbside recycling program planned for Statesboro will be designed to collect single stream material. “Not only will residents be able to recycle at the curb, but most materials will be placed in one container – it doesn’t get much easier than that,” said Carney.
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