A steady stream of cars turned off Marietta Highway and into the parking lot of the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce on Monday.
Forming a line which, at times, stretched around the building and down into its lower parking lot, the vehicles began making their way back toward the turn-in. Once they reached a designated spot in the driveway, a small army of volunteers went to work, grabbing computer monitors, televisions, boxes of paper and empty plant containers from the cars in line.
Doing its part to celebrate Earth Day, the Chamber held its annual Earth Day recycling event Monday, giving companies and individuals the chance to drop off a wide range of items.
“We’ve been busy since the event opened at 9:30 a.m.,” chamber President and CEO Pam Carnes said. “We hope this sets the tone for people to continue to recycle, not just for Earth Day, but for every day.”
The Chamber’s Earth Day recycling event began in 2012, Carnes said. However, it can trace its inception back to 2008, when the Chamber formed a special “green task force,” which morphed one year later into the Going Green Committee.
As each vehicle was unloaded Monday, volunteers carried televisions, computer monitors and towers, typewriters, printers and other electronic devices off to one of the handful of stations set up in the Chamber parking lot. Cellphones were taken to a tent set up by AT&T, while used gardening pots and containers were hauled off by members of the Cherokee County Master Gardeners association. Cardboard boxes full of paper to be shredded were dumped into a residential cart and taken to a truck set up by the record management company Iron Mountain and shredded, while the boxes were broken down and put in separate containers. At their station near the back of the parking lot, responders from Cherokee Fire and Emergency Services and Safe Kids Cherokee County were busy cutting away the seat cushioning and safety straps from expired children’s car seats to recycle them.
Although the chamber holds recycling events like Monday’s only once a year, the chamber also plays a role in the Mayor’s Recycling Challenge held every summer. In addition, the Chamber spends much of the year going throughout the community to offer up education to everyone, helping them better understand the value of recycling and the need for a cleaner environment, Carnes said.
A number of local organizations and companies had volunteers helping out at the Earth Day event, including Cobb EMC, Next Step Ministries, the Jan Rooney office of State Farm Insurance and many more. No matter which organization they were representing Monday, virtually all of the volunteers were more than happy to be a part of the recycling effort.
“The company I work for, AT&T, gives us a community service day every year,” volunteer Paula Goddard said. “I like recycling. It’s an opportunity to give back and make the earth a better place.”
“To me, it’s just about helping the community and doing what we can,” added D.J. Vining from Delta Community Credit Union, who was handing out bags of information to drivers as they arrived at the chamber.