By Liz Swafford
Sometimes I get asked where I come up with all these ideas for a weekly column. You’d think that there isn’t much to say in regards to recycling, living green and being eco-friendly. Believe me, there is a ton of great information available online that you can access, too. From upcycling projects and environmental education to the latest environmental news, here are some of my favorite websites.
• www.DWSWA.org: If you live in Whitfield County and want to know where to recycle and dispose of household garbage, this is the place for you. The Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority’s official website has details about Convenience Center locations, hours of operation and lists of what type of materials are accepted for recycling. It also has the latest news articles about upcoming events and holiday hours.
• Earth911.com: This is an online directory of places to recycle, including drop-off locations and mail-in programs. Want to know if you can recycle glass bottles? Click on “Recycling Search” or go directly to http://search.earth911.com, type in your ZIP code, the name of the item and then click “Search.” You’ll see local results such as the city of Dalton curbside recycling program and other locations in the area.
Earth911.com is also a great source of lifestyle articles in seven categories such as style, art and entertainment and food. The website was recently updated and looks really modern with larger photos, keyboard navigation and easier ways to find and share articles you like.
• www.1800recycling.com: This site is also an online directory of places to recycle. It also offers a variety of articles on a blog. One of the unique sections is a state resources directory that makes it easy to find a state’s environmental division office and guidelines for air pollution control and other environmental issues. In Georgia, for example, you’ll see the contact information for the Department of Natural Resources’ Environmental Protection Division.
• www.EEinGeorgia.org: All teachers should know this website. It’s the online guide to environmental education in Georgia. This site has a comprehensive yearly calendar that shows environmental holidays and focus weeks, such as Pollinator Week coming June 17. But the best part is that it also includes workshops, conferences and training opportunities for teachers that take place all across Georgia. With links to grants, awards, lesson plans and more it’s a wonderful resource for educators.
• www.WasteRecyclingNews.com: Want to know the latest and greatest news about the solid waste management and the recycling industries? You have to read Waste and Recycling News. This is a weekly print publication that also has lots of its news online, and even has a webcast. One of the recent articles is about the challenge manufacturers face to recycle single-serve coffee cups like those used in Keurig coffee makers. You may remember that Waste and Recycling News hosted the contest called “Mascot Madness” that our mascot, Recycling Ben, participated in earlier this year.
• www.TerraCycle.com: We recycle a lot here in Whitfield County. But there are still so many other things that can be recycled, just not locally. Thankfully there’s Terracycle, which wants to “eliminate the idea of waste” by providing outlets for hard-to-recycle things, such as Capri Sun drink pouches. The site offers a selection of mail-in programs, or brigades, with incentives to encourage the public to send in oddball materials for recycling.
The materials collected are recycled into new products that are sold on its website and through retail locations such as Walmart and Target. Along with the information about the mail-in programs, the website offers a curriculum series and a do-it-yourself section with upcycled projects. Can’t wait to make an upcycled candy wrapper barrette.
Liz Swafford is the recycling and education program coordinator for the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority. Have questions about recycling in Whitfield County? Call (706) 278-5001 or email firstname.lastname@example.org