Published 10:05 pm Wednesday, April 22, 2009
In case you missed it, Wednesday was Earth Day 2009.
Throughout the area, residents celebrated Earth Day by recycling, picking up trash, conserving resources and practicing other ways to help the environment.
In Suffolk, residents were able to visit the White Marsh Shopping Plaza parking lot to get rid of their old aluminum, plastic, cardboard, tires, paper, electronics and household hazardous waste.
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“We want to foster a healthy, cleaner environment,” said Hattie Lester, litter control coordinator for the city of Suffolk. “We want to increase awareness of the important of reducing, reusing and recycling.”
The parking lot had four recycling containers – one of which is there all the time – set up for residents to return their recyclable items. Creative Recycling came to collect electronics – one person even brought a paper shredder – and the Southeastern Public Service Authority household hazardous waste unit came to collect paint, solvents, cleaners, acids, propane, Freon and compact fluorescent light bulbs, which contain mercury. The only items SPSA wouldn’t accept were smoke alarms, because they must be returned to the manufacturer due to their radioactive elements.
Gordon Briggs, who directs the household hazardous waste program, said people even bring in cylinders of helium left over from birthday parties.
Recycling participants on Wednesday drove in with stacks of phone books, collections of soda bottles and cans and numerous cans of paint collected from their garage.
“What better day to recycle than on Earth Day?” Lester said.
In addition to helping Suffolk recycle, Lester hopes to raise awareness of the existence of the litter control office, since many Suffolk residents do not know it exists. The litter control office implements the adopt-a-street program, in which groups or families sign up to clean a road twice a year. The litter control office provides bags, hand sanitizer, gloves and safety vests to those willing to volunteer.