Reasons to recycle: Chattanoogans mark Earth Day

Reasons to recycle: Chattanoogans mark Earth Day

April 23rd, 2013 by Yolanda Putman in Local Regional News

UNUM "Green Team" members Tommy Chamberlain, left, and Cindy Pool accept a pair of shoes from Rancy Li to be recycled during an Earth Day recycling event Monday. Orange Grove Center, Unum and other local businesses joined forces to host a community-wide Earth Day recycling event in downtown Chattanooga.

Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

Everett Allen with the Orange Grove Center carries a computer monitor that was recycled during an Earth Day event Monday in downtown Chattanooga. More than 2 million tons of e-waste is thrown away each year that could be recycled, says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

People brought truckloads of old cell phones, cathode ray tube television sets, tennis shoes, old appliances and tower computers to the corner of Fourth and Walnut streets on Monday in recognition of Earth Day.

Failure to recycle means landfills will be filled more quickly with junk, said Jill Henderson, Unum's corporate sustainability manager and Green Team member who helped to coordinate the event.

It was one of several events, including tree plantings and hiking tours, planned around the city in honor of Earth Day. Students from Ivy Academy ran, biked and kayaked to school to show alternative means of transportation.

About 2.37 million tons of TVs, computers, cell phones and keyboards are discarded each year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website.

But when they are recycled, the valuable materials can be recovered from electronic parts, and people in the community get jobs.

Orange Grove Center employs 150 people in its recycling department, said Orange Grove development coordinator Wendy Brooks.

Unum joined with Orange Grove Center and the Association of Records Managers & Administrators to host the annual Earth Day recycling event.

Fast Break shoe store also assisted by taking old tennis shoes dropped off Monday to recycle for people in need. And Best Buy took old television sets to recycle.

Unum Green Team member Tommy Chamberlain commended all businesses and the public for participating.

"We all have more than we should," he said. "We are probably blessed more than we should [be], and we need to be responsible."