Upholding its key principles of giving back and growing green, Southwire invited west Georgia residents to bring their electronics and hazardous household waste to Don’t Trash It, a recycling event sponsored in part by Project GIFT and Keep Carroll Beautiful.
Although Southwire has hosted e-recycling for several years, the company provided hazardous household waste (HHW) collection for the first time at Don’t Trash It. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, products that are poisonous, corrosive, flammable or toxic can be harmful to the environment and must be disposed of properly. Examples of HHW products include drain openers, oven cleaners, automotive oil, paint thinners, grease removers and weed killers.
Planning and preparing for the event took more than two months, and despite initial hesitancy about adding HHW collection, community response and turnout to Don’t Trash It was highly positive.
“The event was definitely successful,” said Krystle Thompson, Project GIFT coordinator. “We were concerned about adding household hazardous waste recycling because it was something that we’ve never done before, but I think that it made this great event even better.”
To advertise the event, banners were placed at Southwire’s corporate building, the employment center, West Georgia Technical College, the Times-Georgian and at the new fire department. It was advertised in the Times-Georgian newspaper and on the radio by Gradick Communications, who attended the event for a remote radio broadcast.
More than 15 Project GIFT Blackshirt volunteers attended the event, and as guests arrived, they were directed toward the appropriate area based on their recycling needs. Electronics recycling occurred on one side of Southwire’s corporate parking lot, and HHW recycling occurred on the other. Throughout the four-hour event, nearly 500 vehicles brought old and unused electronics; this number reflects an increase of 120 vehicles from last year’s five-hour event. More than 70 vehicles brought hazardous household waste, quickly reaching the event’s maximum capacity.
Mark Whisenant, loss prevention specialist, volunteered at the event. According to Whisenant, Don’t Trash It clearly demonstrates Southwire’s community and environmental commitments.
“It shows that Southwire cares about the community,” said Whisenant. “It shows that we care about all facets of the community, helping them recycle their electronics and household waste, and it shows that Southwire is committed to the environment, to the air we all breathe and the water we all drink. We all work hard to volunteer and do the best we can for the community.”
For more information about e-recycling or the proper disposal of hazardous household waste, employees may visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s website at www.epa.gov.
– Krystle Thompson