Valdosta challenges South GA to recycle - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta challenges South GA to recycle

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December 28, 2007

Valdosta - The City of Valdosta is continuing its explosive growth but not in all areas.

"With our percentage of growth, we continue to reduce our landfill quantities and we hope to reduce that by 25% over the next ten years," says Valdosta Mayor John Fretti.

The past and future results are made possible by a simple recycling program.  Believe it or not, one that's rare in our area.

"I believe we are the only municipality in South Georgia to have a recycling program and I believe we are the only ones in South Georgia to offer curbside recycling to our residents," says Public Works Director John Whitehead.

They believe cost is a major reason why many cities don't have a recycling program but they say the outcome is well worth it.  "We don't look to make money off of it but it's the right thing to do economically," Whitehead adds.

Recycling is largely supplemented by tax payers, but it's a cost they don't seem to mind.

"I've never had a complaint about having a recycling program but I have gotten complaints about not having an expanded recycling program and those are the kind of complaints that I want. Those are the kinds of complaints I'm surprised aren't pushing other cities and municipalities to create an expanded recycling program," Mayor Fretti says.

City leaders are encouraging others to establish a recycling program in their own communities.

Meanwhile, Valdosta leaders are working to get bins in parking lots, downtown, and in apartment complexes.  "We want to expand it so everyone has an opportunity no matter where they are to recycle," Mayor Fretti says.

To continue working towards a greener city and cleaner state.

Valdosta leaders say grants also help cover the costs of recycling programs.

The most recent grant will help them put out portable recycling bins at special events in the area.

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