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Paper, plastic, oil, glass: Recycling helps city

Staff Report • Mar 23, 2012 at 8:40 AM

Recycling has become a way of life for many residents in Johnson City. And as you’ve read in the Press in recent years, officials from the city and Washington County say their respective recycling programs have been beneficial to the environment, and in some cases, profitable for local coffers.

Each year, Johnson City recycles more than 4,400 tons of paper, aluminum cans, plastic containers, used motor oil, automotive batteries and clear and brown glass.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that there is still a lot of room for improvement when it comes to recycling. Participation in Johnson City’s recycling program has remained below 70 percent in recent years. The city can and has done better than that.

Back in the early 1990s, when Johnson City launched the first municipal curbside recycling program in the state, the city had a participation rate of nearly 90 percent.

Johnson City leaders should be commended for keeping the recycling program going through some tough budget times. It’s encouraging to know that while few public recycling programs break even, much less make a profit, Johnson City’s comes pretty darn close.

Recycling is more than just a “feel good” program. Both the city and county’s recycling efforts have helped to keep items that otherwise would have been dumped in the trash out of the landfill. This has helped to extend the life of Iris Glen Environmental Center.

Johnson City residents have no excuses for not recycling. The city provides recycling bins that are collected weekly. The city also collects the following recyclables:


Magazines and catalogs

Cardboard food packages

Discarded mail

Motor oil

Call 975-2792 for more information about the city’s recycling program. Make your household environmentally friendly. Start recycling today.

Remember: Reduce, reuse and recycle.

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