April 3, 2013

Liz Swafford: Printed guide offers local recycling tips

By Liz Swafford

— Wondering what to do with that oil you just changed on your car or that rechargeable battery from the controller for your video game system? And, not to mention those tree trimmings from the backyard, glass bottles and all the newspapers you’ve read lately. Surprisingly, all of those items and more can be recycled in Whitfield County.

On March 29, The Daily Citizen printed a special edition of the newspaper called Progress. In the Quality of Life section, on pages 6 and 7, there were two full-color recycling guides for our community. On page 6 is a guide to curbside recycling in the city of Dalton, and on page 7 is a convenience centers “how to” guide for Whitfield County. Readers were encouraged to cut out and save the guides. In case you missed it, you can now download a PDF copy from the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority website: www.dwswa.org.

Each guide is full of useful information for residents. For example, the convenience center how to guide includes the locations, hours and phone numbers for each of the four sites. Included is a comprehensive list of items accepted for recycling that ranges from the traditional paper to the more nontraditional such as electronics or used motor oil. One of the newer recyclables accepted at each site are rechargeable batteries of any size from items such as cellphones and laptop computers.

Interesting to note was that bulky waste, items too big for your garbage can such as sofas and mattresses, is accepted year-round at the Old Dixie Highway Landfill & Convenience Center for no charge, while taking those same items to the Westside, M.L. King or McGaughey Chapel locations requires a small transportation fee. Also accepted at the Old Dixie Highway location year-round are electronic devices such as computers, laptops, video game systems, digital cameras and cellphones.

The city of Dalton curbside recycling guide also provides a detailed list of items accepted for recycling at the curb, and how to prepare each item. For example, plastic bottles and jugs should be rinsed out and crushed to save space in the blue bins. And, good to know, it’s OK to leave the labels and lid on the containers. However, plastic tubs, bowls, cups or bags are not accepted since the local collection program only takes bottles and jugs at this time. Good to know!

Recycling Ben is out of Mascot Madness 2013

During the past several weeks our mascot and local recycling representative Recycling Ben participated in the 2013 Mascot Madness competition hosted by trade publication Waste & Recycling News. Mascot Madness brought together 16 eco-friendly mascots from across the country to compete in a bracket modeled after the NCAA basketball tournament’s March Madness. The winners during each round were determined through online voting.

Thanks to your votes Recycling Ben advanced from the initial group of 16 to the Elite Eight, and then to the Final Four. Sunday night, however, I found out that Recycling Ben was defeated in the fourth round by Scrappy, the hard hat-wearing turtle from Indiana. Scrappy ended up with 53 percent of the vote while our Recycling Ben had 47 percent of the vote. It was a really close contest. Scrappy has advanced to the championship round where he’ll face the duo of Reuse It and Captain Cleanup. Whoever wins will be the champion for this year’s competition. You can vote online at www.wasterecyclingnews.com/mascotmadness through Tuesday. The winner will be announced April 15.

Thanks again for your votes and staying up to date on the competition on Recycling Ben’s Facebook page: facebook.com/recyclingben. I’m very proud of how far he was able to advance and look forward to trying again for the championship next year.


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 lswafford@dwswa.org.