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Carbon County gets greener, according to recent survey

The Green Team's recycling trailers are getting more use.

By KEVIN SCANNELL
Sun Advocate reporter

According to some, Carbon County residents are becoming greener.

The Carbon County Green Team conducted a survey among over 1,400 households within the county that gauged the interest residents in the county have towards recycling. Some of the questions on the survey asked whether residents would be willing to pay for recycling, what types of material they felt were most important to recycle and whether or not they currently recycle material at home.

The survey, done throughout December and January, reached approximately 20 percent of Carbon County households with 65 percent of the respondents being females and 64 percent were above the age of 50. Residents in East Carbon and Sunnyside were not included in the survey, according to Green Team Board Member Jim Piacitelli.

The results from the survey included:

*That a majority of Carbon County respondents support recycling, particularly if it is free or at a cost of $5 or less per month. Over eight percent of the respondents stated they would never support recycling.

*That the respondents felt all types of recyclable materials are important to recycle. Plastics and paper led the way and were followed by metals, glass, cardboard and electronics.

*That aluminum cans and plastic bags are the products most of the respondents are currently recycling. Survey results also indicated that most did not realize that their discarded tires are "recycled" and whenever they buy new tires, they pay a fee to support that.

*That a majority of respondents, 54 percent, were willing to pay or donate monthly to have recycling bins or other options to recycle.

Some of the results surprised people, including Green Team board members.

"The willingness of people in the county to pay is a lot stronger than we anticipated," said Piacitelli. "We were aware that there was a lag here in the country in regards to recycling." He also noted that the survey received a pretty "healthy response" from the community.

The Green Team researched how recycling is being handled in other communities and they tailored their survey to find answers that suit the county's needs.

Since its inception in Feb. 2009, the Green Team has been working towards providing Carbon County residents with ways of becoming greener, noting the need for recycling in the area. In April, the group placed modified trailers that collect aluminum cans and paper materials in two locations, in the Sutherlands parking lot and the Market Express Chevron service station on 121 N. Carbonville Road. A third trailer is currently being modified and will be available for use within the next month or two, according to Piacitelli.

After almost two months since they were first introduced, the recycling trailers are seeing their fair share of materials. Jeanne McEvoy, a Green Team board member, said while the trailers are now available for use, the recycling is going slowly but is showing signs of growing.

"The survey results were an indication of where people in the community stood on the topic of recycling, McEvoy said. "We wanted to see how much of an interest the community would have in a recycling program. But actions speak louder than words."




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