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Volunteers celebrate recycling

Public Works’ annual Recyclebration uses art to encourage waste reduction.
Tuesday, August 12, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 4:32 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 14, 2008

The next time you throw away an old greeting card or blank address labels, you might want to think about two things — reusing and recycling.

Both will be promoted during Recyclebration, sponsored by the Columbia Public Works Volunteer Program. The event seeks to educate residents about recycling, waste reduction and the environment.

Recyclebration is Sept. 27 and 28 at the Columbia Festival of the Arts, but organizers are asking the community to donate supplies now.

Some of the items needed are old calendars, flower catalogs, craft supplies, unwanted CD’s and plastic six-pack rings. The items will be reused and turned into items such as envelopes and origami.

“It’s a way for us to teach people about reuse and recycling,” said Christine Gardener, assistant to the recycling program for the Columbia Public Works Department.

“People really enjoy coming by and making something, and kids love it of course,” Gardener said.

There will be tables set up with supplies at the arts festival. Residents will be encouraged to visit the area and to make projects from the donated reusable materials.

Some of the things guests can do include making origami from scrap paper; making envelopes from colorful calendars and magazines; and making flowers that resemble hyacinths from the plastic rings on six-packs of soda.

Recyclebration began in 1995 as a way to educate the public on recyclable materials. At first, only items recyclable in Columbia were collected. such as plastic milk jugs. The program has now been expanded to include reusable items.

“We certainly hope people come by and learn a little more about reducing waste and how waste impacts the environment,” Gardener said.

Chris Cady, an event volunteer and environmental specialist for the hazardous waste program at the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, constructed a 6-foot recycling symbol out of about 300 old CD’s during last year’s Recyclebration. The discs varied from obsolete software to music. Cady attached the CDs together with liquid adhesive.

“Americans throw away more stuff than anyone else in the world, and most of them don’t realize it or think about it. We can’t continue doing that, so we’re trying to educate people in a fun way rather than a lot of environmental doom and gloom,” Cady said.

Donations can be dropped off from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Grissum Building, 1313 Lakeview Ave. The final day to drop off items is Sept. 18.


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