Recycling, tire collection draws big turnout Saturday

Published 6:22 pm Wednesday, March 29, 2023

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Saturday’s Great Suffolk CleanUp not only removed unsightly litter, it also gave local residents the opportunity to recycle and dispose of old tires for free.

As part of the event sponsored by Keep Suffolk Beautiful, the local non-profit affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, the Recycling Drive and Tire Amnesty Day event brought the community together Saturday, March 25, to properly dispose of their recyclable items and tires.

Suffolk Public Works Litter Control Coordinator Daniel McDonald said the long-term working relationship between the Public Works Department and participating organizations, such as the Sheriff’s Office, at the event makes the process easy for putting together the event.

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“We get them together usually about a year in advance,” McDonald said.

McDonald praised Suffolk Christian Fellowship Center for its support at this year’s event.

“We’ve always brought in food, soap and toiletries and then we’ve always donated it to usually ‘For Kids’ or a place of our choosing,” he said. “But I know that this food pantry is downtown and they have a lot of business and they’re very busy and they’ve offered to come take all the food donations as well as all the plastic bags we take and put them to good use. So that’s been a double bonus.”

Suffolk Public Works Community Outreach Coordinator Wayne Jones provided recycling event results.

A total of 390 cars dropped off items, he said, with 434 people bringing off household hazardous waste. Additionally, Jones reported 1,155 tires brought to the location at 800 Carolina Road. 

In addition to Suffolk Christian Fellowship Center, Saturday activities included vendors such as Goodwill taking in clothing and electronics, the Suffolk Lion’s Club collecting hearing aids and eyeglasses, and Southeastern Public Service Authority Waste Solutions accepting hazardous waste such as paint, gasoline, pesticide and propane. 

“This has been a really good weekend,” McDonald said. “The turnout’s higher than average lately, so I think the efforts that we are putting in are starting to show and starting to bear fruit.”

Suffolk Clean Community Commission/Keep Suffolk Beautiful Commissioner Audrey Dennis also is pleased with the turnout.

“It’s really exciting, It’s exciting to see more people interested in recycling and making sure that things that might hurt the environment are getting taken care of properly,” Dennis said. “It’s nice to see people in the community come out and express interest in what we are all working towards.”

Dennis hopes her work with KSB will have a positive effect on the city.

“I like to see the Suffolk community cleaner, prettier — reducing, reusing and recycling,” she said. “More doing it and just making the community a better place.” she emphasized.

 Dennis said hopes it brings more exposure for initiatives such as these. 

“I hope it will highlight proper disposal and recycling habits. I also hope it will shine a light on Keep Suffolk Beautiful/The Suffolk Clean Community Commission and all the good work they do,” she said. “They do clean ups. They provide for clean ups and support them year round. We also hold our own public cleanups. We do our recycling drives. We do a lot of outreach and beautification. So, I hope people have become more aware of the services we provide and take advantage of them more, and I hope it casts a good light on all the good work that the commission does.”