CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Thursday, people across the world celebrated Earth Day. The occasion generated new conversations about recycling options in Charleston and surrounding communities.
“The number one priority is the challenge that has existed for some time,” said Emmett Pepper, the chair of Charleston’s citizen-led Green Team. “Our number one priority is recycling.”
Among other things, they are working to identify ways to make recycling more affordable for the city. Currently, all recycling from the city is hauled to Beckley. They make that trip at least once a week to take recycleable materials for processing. It is a service the city now has to pay for.
“There’s a lot of opportunities,” Pepper said. “But if we are going to be increasing the amount that we recycle and have to drive it a long way that isn’t good economically.”
The director of Charleston’s Refuse and Recycling Department, Jered Lanham said right now there’s no processing facility in Kanawha County that can handle the city’s recycling.
“We are working on our Green Team, everyone is working on trying to get something back to Charleston to eliminate that and maybe do some collaboration with some other counties with their recycling to make Charleston a central hub at that point,” Lanham said.
For now they’ve tried to make Charleston’s curbside recycling option as easy as possible.
“You can use any bin or can that you choose. We just ask that you clearly mark it and you can also still use the clear recycling bags too,” Lanham said.
According to their most recent statistics there’s a 20% participation rate in the city’s recycling programs.
For more information about Charleston’s recycling efforts click here.