Our world of recycling

Published 9:47 am Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Mower County Recycling Center has recycled 69 million pounds of paper, plastic, glass and other materials since its inception 20 years ago, kindergartners learned Tuesday.

Austin Catholic Elementary School kindergarten classes toured the facility, where they were taught which items can be recycled, and how they process and stack the material that comes into the center.

Teacher Vicki Taylor said every one of her students claims to recycle in some form at home.

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“More and more people are wanting to recycle than ever before,” coordinator Jeff Weaver explained to the children, who shrieked with delight and covered their ears when watching the different machines sort, press and shred materials.

Each year, the center recycles nearly 2,000 tons of material, which is broken down and sold to companies that turn it into reusable products, like bottles, boxes and even carpet.

After a pop can is thrown in a bin, it can take as soon as a week for it to be recycled into a reusable product.

Aluminum, glass and plastic have unlimited recycling potential, while cardboard fiber can be recycled about seven times, Weaver said.

Recycling bins and service are free, with pickups twice a month. Recycling fees are included in Mower County residents’ taxes.

For more information, visit the Environmental Services office at 1105 1/2 Eighth Ave. N.E.