Given that a picture can be worth 1,000 words, Mount Airy now has an image — and a slogan — to illustrate the city’s curbside recycling program and promote its use by the public.
This has resulted from an initiative announced in January by a city recycling advisory group formed to increase participation in the program that began in January 2012.
That initiative involved enlisting art students of Mount Airy City Schools and Millennium Charter Academy for a contest to design logos and slogans. The winners were picked by the advisory committee to become the official seal for the city’s recycling program.
More than 1,100 entries resulted, according to Jennifer Nester, a member of the group. “It was very difficult to make a decision,” she said of members’ selection of the winners.
A creation by Xavier Whitt, a fourth-grader at Jones Intermediate School, was judged as the best logo, showing a planet with eyes, legs and arms which is highlighted in green.
The top slogan was devised by Olivia Phillips, a Jones fifth-grader, providing the message that Mount Airy doesn’t take recycling “for granite,” a play on words referring to the city’s quarrying heritage.
Their artwork was merged for a composite creation incorporating the winning logo and slogan, which was unveiled Thursday night at a meeting of the city board of commissioners. The board voted unanimously to accept it as the official promotional concept for Mount Airy’s recycling program.
“The artwork is fantastic,” Commissioner Jim Armbrister said.
Jeff Boyles, the city’s public services director, also reported Thursday night that a $9,225 grant has been received by the municipality. It can go toward promotional materials for the recycling program using the new slogan and logo, Boyles said.
Ken Klamfoth, the chairman of the Mount Airy Recycling Advisory Committee, says the group wants to improve the curbside recycling participation rate — which stood at about 51 percent earlier this year.
In addition to informing non-recyclers about the value of embracing the practice, there is a need to educate some of those who are actively participating, Klamforth said.
One example involves proper placement of the blue recycling carts.
“We’ve been having quite a problem with the carts being too far from the curb and the truck not being able to reach them,” Klamfoth explained.
He said residents can refer to instructions included with the carts when delivered to homes in helping to make the operation smoother.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-719-1924 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.