Conway: Serious About Recycling (Green Initiatives (Over 20K) | Winner)

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Oct. 17, 2011 12:00 am  

• Weekly curbside recycling services are free in Conway, and all yard waste is recycled into nursery-quality mulch available to the public at no charge. “This is a true example of an in-house project by the department to ‘close the loop’ of recycling materials, and benefits all residents who take advantage of this service,” Howard said.

• A household hazardous waste (HHW) reuse center operated by the city properly disposes of items like paint, pesticides, fertilizer and cleaning agents. Conway residents can drop off such materials at the center as well as pick up materials no longer needed in some households but desired in others. Howard said this practice enables residents to recycle and reuse their unwanted, hard-to-manage waste items.

• Conway offers free educational programs and free business waste audits. Annually, roughly 7,000 people – students, residents, delegates from neighboring towns – tour the city’s sanitation and recycling facilities. In addition, the department offers a waste audit service to area businesses where city professionals help determine just what can be recycled. “This service has been invaluable to many area businesses that have seen an obvious reduction in their sanitation service costs through a lessening of their garbage collections and/or downsizing their company’s refuse receptacle.

• The city works with local schools to implement campus recycling programs. Conway public schools, St. Joseph Catholic School and Conway Christian School all have added recycling bins in classrooms and cafeterias. The recycling program in the Conway School District has been recognized statewide by the Keep Arkansas Beautiful organization and the Arkansas Recycling Coalition as a model program. Howard said the department provides free recycling receptacles for any school classroom, breakroom or cafeteria as well as outdoor receptacles. “We also facilitate the programs by hosting classroom recycling education programs, by providing custom-designed campus recycling posters, and through the establishment of student-led ‘green teams’ at each campus,” she said. “Annually, we recognize top student recyclers from various campuses to comprise our ‘green teams’ and provide them with ‘Super Recycler’ T-shirts to encourage their efforts.”

• Conway has increased efficiency in operational practices, and it has dramatically increased the life expectancy of its landfill as well. Five years ago, the city began using a 3 ML liner to cover the landfill rather than using the traditional method of covering it with dirt. The transition resulted in the life expectancy of the fill remaining the same rather than decreasing. Ultimately, a new landfill will have to be constructed, but, Howard said, “The longer we can preserve the life of the landfill, the more our community will financially benefit from its use.”

 

 

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