The cities of Salem and Viola are still participating in a voluntary recycling program, but recent events may put that into jeopardy. According to Fulton County Judge Charles Willett, some folks have been abusing the drop-off site, leaving trash instead of recyclables.
"We've had a lot of people dumping their trash at the trailer behind the family clinic. That has to stop or we will have to stop recycling all together. We're not in the trash business; we're in the recycling business. Please don't bring your trash and dump it out there," Willett said.
The recycling trailer is parked in the lot behind the family clinic in front of the old T-shirt factory in Salem on Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and in the City Hall parking lot in Viola on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Recycling at home is easy. It's helpful to have separate containers for plastic bottles, aluminum cans, tin cans and for paper, since each type of item must be sorted and placed in a separate bin on the trailer. A home collection bin can be as simple as a cardboard box lined with a plastic bag. The following items can be recycled for each category:
Paper: Newspapers, magazines, catalogs, phone books, junk mail, office and school papers can all be recycled. Remember to keep paper products dry, as wet paper cannot be recycled.
Plastic bottles: Look for the triangle with "1" or "2" on the bottom of the bottle. Common number "1" and number "2" plastic recyclable bottles are clear and colored beverage bottles, milk and juice jugs, catsup and mayonnaise bottles, laundry soap, dish soap and cleaning bottles, lotion bottles, shampoo bottles and even plastic coffee containers. Do not bring butter or whipped topping lids or containers. A good rule of thumb is that the plastic item must have a neck to be considered a bottle. Also, do not bring auto fluid, pesticide or herbicide bottles, as these cannot be safely recycled.
Aluminum and household beverage and food cans: Remember to empty the contents of the cans and rinse clean. The metal lids can be dropped into the opened can and the labels do not need to be removed. Do not bring paint or aerosol cans.
Although these are the only items that are currently accepted at the recycling trailer, there are several common items that can be recycled at other places. Plastic grocery bags can be taken to Walmart, or used as can liners or to sack recyclables and rechargeable batteries can be taken to a local Radio Shack, Staples or Walmart.