Snap a selfie, help save the environment and snag a prize!

BUCKHANNON – Ready, set, recycle!

The City of Buckhannon has launched its #BuckhannonRecycles campaign in hopes of raising awareness about recycling and the many recycling opportunities within city limits and the county.

From now until Nov. 15, the city is asking folks to snap a selfie while recycling using the hashtag #BuckhannonRecycles on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. As posts are tracked, during the Nov. 15 Buckhannon City Council meeting – America Recycles Day – selfies with the most shares will receive prizes.

America Recycles Day is “A Keep America Beautiful Initiative” encouraging people from around the nation to pledge and organize educational events.

Through this campaign, Callie Cronin Sams, Buckhannon’s grant writer and information coordinator, is hoping to spread the word about the benefits that recycling yield for the environment.

“Recycling reduces the need for raw materials in new products, saves space in our landfills, thereby extending their lifetime, and utilizes less water and electricity than does the extraction and processing of new materials,” she explained. “Every ton diverted from the waste stream reduces our tipping fees at the landfills and allows us to put that money back into operations at the waste department.”

Personally, Sams said she feels it is important to evaluate how much waste is created as a household and look for ways to reduce that amount. This could include making choices at the grocery store based on whether you can recycle or compost a product’s packaging after use, she added.

“For instance, I will often buy cans rather than plastics when I have a choice, because the market for metals is better than that for plastics currently,” Sams said. “That increases its recyclability and brings in a better return for our recycling operations.”

Though recycling may just be another household chore for some, Sams said she hopes the campaign encourages more residents to sort their metals, plastics and more.

“For someone that is just starting to recycle, a general tip might be to set up a recycling station somewhere in the home so that they can easily sort recyclables when finished with the item,” she said. “For instance, I have three stackable bins in my laundry room, which is off of our kitchen. As soon as I’m done with an item – say, a can of tomatoes – I can rinse it and put it in the bin reserved for metals. That way, when the bin is full, I can easily take it to the recycling center or bag the cans up for curbside pick-up.”

For residents who are not aware, the City of Buckhannon and the county offer a variety of options for those wishing to start recycling, including curbside collection or the drop-off centers. Curbside pick-up is available within city limits the first and third Tuesday of the month.

All residents – city and county – may use the drop-off centers at Crossroads Recycling Center at Walmart and the recycling center at the waste transfer station on Mud Lick Road. The city accepts sorted No. 1 and No. 2 plastics and aluminum/steel at the curb. Plastics (1 and 2), metal cans, paper, magazines and corrugated cardboard are accepted at Crossroads Recycling Center.

All those materials – plus electronics and yard waste – are accepted at the waste transfer station’s recycling center on Mud Lick Road.

“We hope the campaign will both encourage more residents to recycle and also serve as a way to thank people who are already recycling and have been for some time,” she said. “We would love for this to be an annual event and hope we will continue to increase our municipal recycling rate.”

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