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Group recognizes efforts to Keep Forest Park Beautiful

Photo by Kathy Jefcoats
Michele Wiseman of SP Recycling Corp. presents information on recycling.

Photo by Kathy Jefcoats Michele Wiseman of SP Recycling Corp. presents information on recycling.

FOREST PARK — Every day, each person living in Georgia generates 4.6 pounds of garbage, or 1,400 pounds every year, 80 percent of which is recyclable or reusable.

Michele Wiseman with SP Recycling Corp. presented the basic math of turning trash into recycling Thursday during the first Keep Forest Park Beautiful Awards luncheon.

“We’ve become a disposable community,” she said. “This is our mantra — ‘if you aren’t recycling you’re putting money in the trash.’”

Keep Forest Park Beautiful officials spent the afternoon recognizing the volunteers that have helped the city in its efforts to create a prettier landscape through recycling and other programs. Wiseman said it is important to raise the consciousness of residents that conservation is the key to the future of the planet.

“The way we’re doing things is not sustainable,” she said. “We need to let people know why recycling is important and why Forest Park is doing such a good job completing this program.”

Several months ago, Forest Park City Council implemented a voluntary curbside recycling program. Participants separate recyclables from trash and the city collects the cash. Wiseman said she is pleased to see progress in such a short time.

“I’d call this an eight-week success story,” she said. “From June 4 to Aug. 1, the city has diverted 105 tons of waste from the landfill and earned more than $3,500. Going green is green. You are actually saving and generating money.”

Recycling also creates jobs. Wiseman said disposing 10,000 tons of waste in a landfill creates six jobs, followed by one job to burn that much garbage.

“But recycling 10,000 tons of garbage creates 36 jobs,” she said.

After Wiseman’s presentation, Sarah Visser from the Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation talked about the importance of a clean community.

Keep Forest Park Beautiful Director Edie Yongue and board President Robert Mack later handed out awards. Recipients included AT&T Pioneers, Waste Management, Pratt Industries, Forest Park Teen Council, Lovejoy High School ROTC cadets, Clayton County Water Authority, Clayton State University Americorps Program, Forest Park Ministers’ Association, Clayton County Public Schools and Paradise Church of God in Christ.