STEUBENVILLE - It didn't take long for the new recycling containers to come in handy Tuesday when participants at a celebratory presentation by Coca-Cola tossed empty water bottles and Coke plastic bottles into the bins.
The JB Green Team, representing the Jefferson-Belmont Regional Solid Waste Authority, received the 15 recycling containers from Kevin Dowd, Coca-Cola distribution center manager for the Pittsburgh regional market.
"I do a lot of marketing and deliveries but today is a fun day for me because I believe in our recycling efforts, Dowd told a small crowd gathered at the Belleview Park gazebo.
LEARNING ABOUT RECYCLING — Celia Crosby of Steubenville learned about recycling plastic bottles Tuesday from Tom Gunderson at the Coca-Cola Recycling display in Belleview Park. Gunderson is the tour manager for Coca-Cola Recycling. Coca-Cola donated 15 recycling bins to the JB Green Team Tuesday as part of a program to encourage recycling of aluminum cans and plastic bottles.
-- Dave Gossett
"It is important for our communities and our partners to understand Coca-Cola's commitment to recycling. Forty-three percent of our package containers are recycled. And 10 million cases in the Pittsburgh area are recycled every year," explained Dowd.
"By 2015 we hope to be recycling 50 percent of our material.
"After that we will shoot for 100 percent recycling. Our goal is to keep materials and plastics out of our landfills," Dowd added.
Mark McVey, interim director of the JB Green Team, promised to use the 15 containers "in the most beneficial areas for continued recycling efforts in Jefferson and Belmont counties.
State Rep. Jack Cera, D-Bellaire, a former executive director of the solid waste authority recognized "the hard working efforts of the JB Green Team staff."
"The electronic recycling campaign and hazardous household waste collections continue on an annual basis. The staff continues to emphasize the importance of recycling now and in the future. I hope people understand how important recycling is as we move forward," noted Cera.
State Sen. Lou Gentile, D-Steubenville, said the JB Green Team is serving as a model for the rest of the state.
"There is a spirit of cooperation in the area's recycling efforts that is paying off," Gentile said.
Also participating in the donation ceremony were Michael Mennett, executive director of the Keep Ohio Beautiful program, who said the goal of recycling "is to keep aluminum cans and plastic bottles out of landfills."
According to DeAnn Baxter, manager of public affairs and communications for Coca-Cola, in addition to the 15 recycling containers donated to the JB Green Team, "an additional 60 recycling bins were donated to Keep Ohio Beautiful for use in other areas of the state."
"We also had the Coca-Cola interactive recycling education vehicle here to teach people how to make recycling fun," said Baxter.
(Gossett can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)