Saturday, January 28 found us in Athens-Clarke County, Georgia, where we were able to visit the CHaRM (Center for Hard to Recycle Materials) and attend the Green Life Expo.
The CHaRM is a drop-off center for mixed recyclables, as well as hard-to-handle materials, ranging from automotive fluids and paint to batteries and fluorescent tubes and bulbs, from cell phones to computers and TVs, from bicycles to books, and from scrap metal to shredded paper. CHaRM Supervisor Chris Griffin and staffers Kemp and Margie showed us around and answered questions about how the materials come in and then are packaged for recycling or further processing. We were especially impressed by the “bulb eater,” which safely crushes fluorescent lamps and reduces air space for shipping.
Also located at the CHaRM is the Teacher Reuse Store, a favorite of our niece Abbey who is a local preschool teacher. The store accepts furniture, office and school supplies, arts and crafts materials, and more and then makes them available to area public, private, and homeschool teachers for free.
The Green Life Expo was held at the Athens-Clarke County Library and featured 35 exhibitors, a petting zoo, free activities, and a viewing of the documentary film “Just Eat It.” We picked up a stainless steel spork and straw that are easy to keep in a purse or backpack for daily use to replace plastic utensils and straws, as well as a piece of art with sea turtles made from bottle caps. Gary attended the “Live Love Scrub” session and made a felted soap scrubby with locally grown wool. We also had the chance to talk to several volunteer organizations and agencies about the work they do — reducing litter, planting trees, protecting watersheds and stopping “poo-llution,” composting, recycling, and properly handling paint and other hazardous wastes. The Green Life Expo welcomed more than 2,500 visitors!
The best part of the day was having a chance to talk with our clients and their constituent agencies and residents face to face! Elizabeth is pictured above with Cema Wallace and Suki Janssen from the ACC Solid Waste Department Recycling Division.
You’ll find more photos from our visit on our Facebook page.