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Cornell Cooperative Extension to promote recycling at community events

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Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County hopes to encourage even more people to recycle by placing recycling bins next to each garbage can during the annual Jefferson County Fair next month.

Sayre S. Stevens, a Cooperative Extension educator who informs schools and businesses throughout Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties about recycling and composting, said that having recycling and trash bins side by side gives fairgoers a choice of how to discard their items.

“Prior to this there was very little recycling at the fair; only at the youth building,” Mr. Stevens said. “A lot of our 4-H volunteers wanted to have more recycle bins. These are for cans and bottles. We hope to collect as many as we can, and any proceeds from deposits will go back to 4-H clubs.”

All 25 bins are being provided through a partnership with Coca-Cola and Keep American Beautiful, a national nonprofit agency that helps communities reduce waste, and increase recycling and beautification efforts.

“We’d like to see at every public event a recycling bin next to a trash bin,” Mr. Stevens said. “We’re going to open this up to other organizations on a first-come, first-served basis. It has to be for a public event.”

Local agencies interested in borrowing one or all of the bins can put down a deposit, which will be refunded after bins are returned. They will have to report back to the extension office how many cans and bottles were returned to the bins.

Through many efforts throughout the past year, Cornell Cooperative Extension has been working toward educating local residents about the importance of recycling, and reducing waste that is sent to the regional landfill in Rodman.

Mr. Stevens said he hopes this will serve as a start to change people’s habits so when they are at public events they seek out recycling bins and use them.

He also encouraged people to ask where a recycling bin is if they are out in public and don’t see one at an event or establishment.

The extension office also recently began increasing awareness of composting at businesses, schools and homes.

For more information, call the agency at 788-8450.

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