2015 Earth Day Challenge
What are you doing to honor Earth Day this year? The 45th Earth Day is April 22nd this year. The efforts to honor Earth Day here began on March 6th when the Pocahontas County Solid Waste Authority and the six Pocahontas County 4-H clubs began the annual 4-H Earth Day Challenge. Mary Clendenen, the Recycling Coordinator of the Solid Waste Authority explains.
“The 4-H Earth Day Challenge is an annual contest to encourage 4-H-ers to recycle while earning prize money that their clubs can use for camp registration” said Clendenen. “We have about six clubs in the county, a total of around 140 children participating this year. We hope that by participating and learning how to recycle they will continue to recycle throughout the rest of the year once their families get into the habit of doing it.”
Clendenen talks about the recycling being done as part of the contest.
“This year the clubs are competing to collect the most newspapers, magazines and catalogs by weight between March 6th and April 25th” said Clendenen.
And there are rewards at stake for the 4-H clubs who accept the challenge.
“Each club that collects at least 500 pounds receives a $50.00 participation prize” said Clendenen. “In addition to the participation prizes, the first place club receives $150.00, second place receives a hundred, and the third place club receives $50.00. We will announce the winners on April 30th.”
The 4-H clubs can use their prizes to help pay camp registration fees or for other club needs.
The program has also proven to be effective in preserving the environment.
“In the past two years the contest has collected over 13 thousand pounds of these materials” said Clendenen. “We’re told that is enough paper to save about 78 trees from being cut down.”
It is the hope of the Solid Waste Authority that programs like this will encourage all Pocahontas County Residents to recycle.
“”We hope that by doing these programs and some of our school education, we can get everyone interested in recycling” said Clendenen. “We do accept recyclables from everyone in the County, no matter where you are located. We have five locations throughout the County, at each of our Green Box sites where we accept recyclables. We also do white goods, tires and electronics at the landfill. The only recyclables we charge for are tires, they do cost a hundred dollars per ton to recycle, but everything else is free.”
For those who may be unfamiliar with recycling, Clendenen explains the Pocahontas County Recycling program.
“At the five Green box locations we accept cardboard, newspaper, office paper, magazines and catalogs, #1 and #2 plastics and bimetal cans which are like your kitchen type cans” said Clendenen. “We do ask that those items be clean and pre-sorted before they are brought for recycling.”
If you would like to help your favorite 4-H Club win prizes in the contest, you can contact the County Extension Office which runs the 4-H Program at 304-799-4852 and they can refer you to the 4-H club you want to donate your recyclables to.