Marking two decades of providing a valuable community service, the Harlan County Recycling Center held its 20th anniversary celebration at the center on Wednesday.
“In the past 20 years we’ve gone from collecting one trailer load of cardboard in four months, when we first started, to three trailer loads of paper products each month,” said Harlan County Solid Waste Supervisor Lakis Mavinidis. “Today, we are really collecting a lot of recyclable materials.”
Mavinidis said the success of the recycling center is due to the efforts of the public, county and state officials and the federal government for making funding available for recycling programs.
“We appreciate the media also and all they have done in the past 20 years,” said Mavinidis. “We couldn’t operate without the media letting the public know we’re here and what we are doing each day. “
Harlan County Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop said in addition to what the county moves out of the recycling center, other businesses in the community have picked up on recycling and “have moved a lot of product in a year’s time also.”
“That only happened because the recycling center got started and they got the message,” Grieshop said. “We want everybody to participate in recycling, because we don’t want to pay to landfill products when it can be recycled. So, what you have is common sense. It breaks my heart when I go to other communities and cities where they don’t recycle at all. The government has to set the tone. In my estimation, when the government sets the tone, the community follows along — people recycle and we all win.”
Grieshop said he recently read that “85 percent of the garbage generated can be recycled.”
“If you look at that, we have a long way to go, but at least we are going down the right path,” Grieshop said. “Congratulations to the recycling center and we appreciate everyone’s participation throughout the years.”
Along with tables loaded with food and desserts, gifts donated by local businesses were given away to those participating in the celebration.
Nola Sizemore may be reached at 606-573-4510 or on Twitter @Nola_hde