Auburn Family

Recycling Auburn: Students Take Environmental Issues Seriously and the City Does Too

AUBURN, Ala. - City of Auburn Environmental Services makes it easy to dispose of all your recyclable items and help keep Auburn clean. Since 1999, the Recycling Drop-Off Center located at 365-A North Donahue Drive has been available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year.

“There has been definitely been an increase of people recycling in Auburn since I began working here 9 years ago,” Solid Waste Coordinator, Phillip Pollard, said. “The amount has almost doubled.”

Office hours for the Environmental Services are 7:30a.m. until 4:30p.m. on Monday through Friday and can be contacted by phone at (334)-501-3080. The City of Auburn and Auburn University are both associates with the East Alabama Recycling Partnership.

Bins are available at the Drop-Off Center for recyclable commodities including aluminum cans, glass bottles, magazines, newspapers, flattened cardboard, tin cans, and plastic bottles. Batteries, electronics, cell phones, and cooking grease are also accepted by the Environmental Services.

Auburn recycled 1,237 tons of recyclable cargos in 2013 and an estimated 7,858 tons of yard and wood remains. The average Alabama participation rate in recycling materials is less than 15 percent and the national average participation rate is 34 percent.

“Our city is a very educated place with educated people so it’s pretty easy to get people to recycle around here,” Pollard said. “The biggest problem we tend to run into is answering how and where people can recycle.”

Purchasing recyclable materials that can be reused multiple times before returning the item to recycle is a great way for customers to proactively contribute to benefiting the environment. Recycling can help reduce air pollution, preserve natural resources and conserve energy.

Auburn became the first municipality in Alabama to establish a curb-side recycling program for residential customers in 1987. Recyclables at curb-side can be collected weekly by subscribing to the City of Auburn Solid Waste Services. Forty percent of domestic customers in Auburn participated in the curb-side collection program in 2013.

“Having the center on Donahue makes it convenient to just drive to the parking lot on the way to class and place everything in the bins quickly,” Undergraduate student, Sam Belvin, said. “Mixed paper tends to be what we recycle the most.”

Plastic bags are not accepted because they are not compatible with the sorting machinery at the Drop-Off Center. Many grocery stores provide resources for customers so they can return used plastic bags to be recycled.

“I have been taking my recyclables to the Drop-Off Center since my first few years living in Auburn,” Auburn University Alumni, Emily Bowman, said.

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