What recycling in Columbia County?
As I am writing this I am staring at two large bags of cardboard that I really do not want to have thrown in the Richmond County Landfill. Every couple of months for the last two dozen years, I have made a "recycle run" to Columbia County's Baker Place Road landfill, where, using the county recycling facilities available to us, I recycled cardboard, newspapers, old paint cans, aluminum cans and scrap metal that I had collected in my garage since my previous recycle run.
After the closing of the Columbia County landfill, we lost the only "one stop" recycling site I know of in Columbia County. Since then I have located a yellow bin at the county complex for my newspapers and a fire station that will take my aluminum cans. I am fortunate for, at this time, I have no old paint cans or scrap metal. I know there is a place in Grovetown that, for a fee, will take our yard waste. However, I have not found a place in the county that wants my cardboard.
Some people say it is a wrong that a county our size does not have its own landfill. I do not want to get into that discussion now; I will only say that I believe it does not speak well of our county government that we do not have a comprehensive "one stop" recycling program for the citizens of this county. At the very least we should have available the same minimal recycling capability we lost when the Baker Place Road landfill was closed. But we don't.
Now, I know someone is going to tell me that there are places in Richmond County that I could take an old paint can, and that there is another place I can take my two bags of cardboard, and yet another place when I get a piece a scrap metal, and yet another place for an old flashlight battery. I do appreciate knowing about these Richmond County recycling places.
However, in the past when I have an aluminum soda can or two, I would hold them along with cardboard and newspaper for a drive to a Columbia County "one stop" recycle point. I doubt that I would ever spend all day driving around to five or six places in Richmond County to drop an item or two at each place.
At some point I really hope our county government will recognize that by providing a comprehensive "one stop" recycling location, they will be fulfilling the right of our future generation to a better quality of life than we have now. This is possible only when we all acknowledge that resources are limited, and that the impacts of pollution affects the health of our residents today and tomorrow.
Governmental policies and actions today can go a long way to demonstrate respect for the needs of our future residents.
And besides, I know that if I do not find a place soon, my wife will be sending me to Richmond County landfill with all of our recyclables. And I really don't want to do that.
Sam Booher, Martinez
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