Grant to aid city recycling efforts

By Tom Joyce -

Public recycling efforts in Mount Airy are getting a boost with the help of a state grant.

The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality is providing up to $15,000 to enhance recycling in the city schools. The municipal government also will supply a local match for the state reimbursement grant, for a maximum cost of $3,000 to the city and a total of $18,000 for the program.

City Public Works Director Jeff Boyles said the focus of the grant effort will be on promoting recycling at the four campuses in the Mount Airy City Schools district.

This will include purchasing recycling containers for Mount Airy High School, Mount Airy Middle School, J.J. Jones Intermediate School and B.H. Tharrington Primary School.

The containers will be placed in classrooms, hallways, gymnasiums, work rooms, support service spaces and outside athletic areas.

In addition, educational materials about recycling will be located in each school and printed information provided for students to take home.

Another key part of the program involves having a designated contact at each campus and the city schools’ central office who will ensure that all aspects of recycling within each site are working smoothly, as described by Boyles.

Once the carts have been bought, the city government’s role will remain as it has been: dumping the recycling carts placed outside each facility.

Boyles disclosed Monday that the program is now gearing up, after the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners authorized the state grant agreement during its meeting on June 1.

“We are working with a committee made up of teachers and staff at each school to determine the containers and process necessary to make the program a success,” he explained. “We plan to order the containers in early July and have them in place when the students return to school in August.”

The new effort is being aided by Cindy Wilson, who chairs the city’s Recycling Advisory Committee and also is a teacher at Jones Intermediate School.

That committee was formed in 2012 to increase awareness of and participation in the city’s curbside recycling program launched in January of that year.

While the new grant will reach younger members of the community, the public works director mentioned Monday that additional efforts by the committee are targeting adults.

“We have been discussing ways to reach others in the community by utilizing a flyer in the water bill and/or a PSA (public service announcement) with the kids.”

By Tom Joyce

Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.

Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.

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