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Volunteers recycle blue bins for schools to use

ECO Recycling Committee chair Rick Burt cleans a bin. ECO Recycling Committee chair Rick Burt cleans a bin.

Volunteers with two conservation groups finished delivering 584 blue bins to 21 Henderson County schools this week, recycling the unneeded plastic boxes for ... recycling.


Dodging rain days and snow showers over the past two weeks, volunteers with the Environmental and Conservation Organization and the city's Environmental Sustainability Board cleaned, loaded up and delivered the bins into grateful hands at the schools.
Rick Burt, chair of ECO's Recycling Committee, explained how it happened.
"All of last year the ECO recycling committee visited businesses and schools to do a recycling assessment, to look at what they were doing and offer some suggestions to increase recycling," he said. "And during those visits the schools told us, 'We could use more recycling bins.' They asked us, 'Could ECO get a grant to buy some recycling bins?' We got the same feedback over and over again that we could use more recycling bins."
The need was clear. Then came opportunity.
"Geri Conley is on my committee and is also on the city Environmental Sustainability Board," he said. "She said, 'Rick, let me go to the ESB and ask (public works director) Tom Wooten. They just replaced all these recycling bins with these large rollouts. Tom said they're just sitting in storage doing nothing. She asked him, would you consider donating them to schools and Tom said what a great idea."
That was November.
Mayor Barbara Volk attended a meeting of the Environmental Sustainability Board and heard about the idea, and liked it. So did City Manager John Connet and ultimately the City Council, which formally approved the donation on March 6.
Someone at Mountain Community School who saw a story about the donations on called Wooten up and asked for 14 bins. Counting the delivery of 14 to the Boys & Girls Club, the city donated a total of 576 bins.
"The city has been very supportive," volunteer David Allen said last week as helped clean and load bins.
"We all worked together," Conley added. "The city was really so good about the whole thing. The schools are so excited. They couldn't believe this is happening."
Twelve volunteers worked a total of 51 hours over seven days on the project, Burt said. He thanked volunteers David Allen, Geri Conley, Doreen Blue, Chuck Breckheimer, Bill Moore, Duke Guenther, Lee McCall, Bill Mittlemaier, George Tregay, Emily Reasoner and J.R. Mason.