Milledgeville, Georgia Town Hall: Recycling

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To temporary and long-term residents of Milledgeville, Georgia:

Georgia College students, faculty, staff, as well as other members in our Milledgeville community, hold skepticism towards the follow-through of recycling in our town. One source of such skepticism is the knowledge of where Georgia College & State University's recycling goes and where the recycling that city residents put in the recycling centers located on Carr Station Rd, HWY 22 East, Meriwether Rd, Log Cabin Rd, Frank Bone Rd, and Union Hill Church Rd goes.

We have been informed that both entities transport their recycling to Attaway Recycling. At Georgia College, we know we are only able to recycle plastics 1 & 2 and are not able to recycle glass. This elicits concern because the town recycling centers permit and encourage residents to contribute glass into the containers at these centers. Some residents also believe that the centers accept plastics that are not 1 & 2 level grades and these are not recyclable in Milledgeville, not according to the sign at the Frank Bone Road recycling center that has previously specified 1 & 2 and not according to Georgia College. Perhaps there is not consistent signage throughout Milledgeville. Not only is this a concern, but some believe even the items that are truly recyclable in Milledgeville and contributed by residents are not even ultimately recycled. Regardless of the origin of the latter statement, it has become a widespread concern and is at best, a rumor.

These concerns and skepticism not only make community members displeased, but also discouraged from recycling in our community - an activity that is ultimately better for everyone. 

In an effort to get some answers, potentially alleviate any skepticism, and/or work towards a solution, I have previously contacted Advanced Disposal, as they manage recycling in Milledgeville. They were not receptive to the idea of a Town Hall meeting and rather felt attacked by my statement of the prominent skepticism in our community.

I proposed to them, and now propose to you, to support the notion of a Town Hall meeting, where:

A) Advanced Disposal reassures us they are following through on recycling items that we contribute to the recycling centers via sharing visuals and/or their methods, full disclosure and transparency of their processes to us. They will also confirm/deny that items that cannot be recycled at Attaway Recycling are not being encouraged to be brought to our recycling centers, unless something else is further done with these items that ensures they are recycled elsewhere since they cannot be recycled at Attaway.


B) If Advanced Disposal validates our skepticism with conclusions that they have not been following through, that they have not been recycling all the items that we have been informed as recyclable in Milledgeville and have therefore contributed to these centers and/or are encouraging us to "recycle" items that are not indeed recyclable in Milledgeville, via signage and lack of proper education to the community on what is acceptable: 
that community members are then able to share their voices, so Advanced Disposal and city officials become aware that proper and prominent recycling in Milledgeville, Georgia is important to Milledgeville community members; and therefore, this concern should be represented and acted upon.

I believe it is important and necessary that we have a town hall meeting/forum, where the specifics and practices of recycling in Milledgeville will be clarified and discussed. If Advanced Disposal takes the stance that the recyclables are indeed being recycled, it seems vital that the temporary and permanent residents of Milledgeville are reassured so with evidence and details at a town hall meeting.
If it is true that these recyclables are being taken to the landfill, it also appears vital that a city official and/or Advanced Disposal hosts a forum via a town hall meeting to express Advanced Disposal's concerns in discussion with residents' desires and concerns.

If the recycling centers are a facade and residents are spending much time and energy participating in "recycling," they deserve to know it is not actually being recycled.

If the recyclables are being recycled, residents deserve to be reassured with evidence and detail and should be encouraged to recycle as well. More recycling initiatives can be implemented, once this is out in the open. Whether it means getting Milledgeville to a place where we can properly recycle or it means that with knowledge that Milledgeville is properly recycling, for people like myself that are interested in grassroots advocacy for recycling, to be able to confidently have reason to ask downtown businesses to participate in a recycling program that does indeed exist, among other initiatives we would like to carry out.

Please recognize this is an important issue to many in Milledgeville, not just myself.

At the very least, this meeting/forum will serve as an excellent educational and impactful experience for residents in Milledgeville who want to participate in and advocate for recycling.

This petition will be taken to city officials in hopes they will find it necessary to communicate with Advanced Disposal on this in an effective, impactful way. This petition may be used in a presentation to City Council about the need for a Town Hall meeting if we cannot persuade a city official to collaborate with Advanced Disposal.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this!

Megan Elizabeth Goetz ~*~*

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