By Kelsie Thompson
Bath-DeWitt Connection staff writer
With the recent transition of seasons, many are left with the dreaded burden of spring cleaning.
For those in DeWitt, St. Johns and the surrounding areas, the Clinton County Department of Waste Management has increased recycling and waste removal services to make the transition easier on residents.
From 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 15, approximately 545 residents kept with their appointments at the first Clinton County Clean Community Event of the year, where they were given the chance to recycle and properly dispose of household items or waste.
The event was at the Clinton County Road Commission Facility, 3536 S. BR-127 in St. Johns, Mich.
“When residents and businesses take the time to recycle, a number of benefits are realized,” Kate Neese, waste management coordinator for Clinton County, said. “In addition to conserving natural resources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it creates jobs and stimulates the economy.”
Neese said the department tries to increase awareness of sustainability through waste reduction and environmental education.
“There’s a wide array of things people can do to respect the environment and become more sustainable,” Neese said. “Recycling is one of the most basic things people can do to watch energy consumption.”
With around 130 dedicated volunteers, the event operated smoothly despite rainy weather, she said. Most waste items collected where brought to locations where they could be properly disposed, such as Granger, 16980 Wood Road, Lansing, while salvageable items were donated to nonprofit organizations such as Volunteers of America and Habitat for Humanity.
Phil Mikus, manager of recycling at Granger, said Clinton County Clean Community events make for an easy, convenient and free way for residents to reduce waste.
“It is very important to maintain a clean community,” Mikus said. “Everybody needs to start wasting less and using available resources to their full potential.”
Along with displaying how to properly dispose of waste products, the event stressed the importance of extending products into a second-life beyond their original use by donating to those in need.
“The cost of services are going up and the need for donations has been rising over the past few years,” said Kate Reed, Volunteers of America community engagement manager. “Any donations we can get are greatly appreciated. Events like this make a huge impact by improving our ability to serve people in need and keep our programs going.”
Reed said donations will either be given directly to the homeless or turned around and sold at thrift stores owned by the organization.
Daniel Coss, DeWitt city administrator, agrees that recycling is an extremely important part of life.
He said for the 2011-12 fiscal year, the city budgeted nearly $67,000 to pay for residential curbside recycling costs, which will be repaid by citizens using the services.
“Recycling affects all aspects of life,” Coss said. “I think everybody should try to do their part — it is definitely a worthwhile effort.”
The year’s second Clean Community Event is scheduled for Aug. 27 in DeWitt. Reservations are required.
“We only have one Earth,” Neese said. “It is extremely important to take care of it.”
To make an appointment or to volunteer call 989-224-5186 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org