Recycling proposal presented to commissioners by sixth grade student

Hazard Middle School sixth grade student Carley Watts delivered a proposal for a curbside recycling program and green kayaking initiative during the September City of Hazard Commissioners meeting.

During the Sept. 16 Hazard City Commission meeting Carley Watts, a sixth grade student at Hazard Middle School, made a proposal for green kayaking and a curbside recycling program. As a result, a green kayaking initiative has been implemented  and the commissioners are looking for ways to expand recycling programs.

“Did you know that 91 percent of plastic is not being recycled,” Watts said. “While Hazard does offer drop of recycling, many people will just throw that plastic water bottle or laundry detergent bottle in the trash because it is more convenient than taking it to the recycling center.”

Watts said the plastic ends up in landfills, lakes and rivers and takes years to break down, creating more problems as it does. Watts said this problem affects each of us in ways that we may not realize.

“Did you know that you are eating equivalent to one credit card each week in plastic that is not being recycled?” said Watts.

She proposed that the City of Hazard either work with Rumpke or establish their own program for picking up recyclables.Watts stated that her proposal would provide job opportunities while contributing to the beautification and upkeep of the city and help reduce damage done to the environment. Watts said that she and her family take recyclables to the recycling center in Gorman Hollow each week, but says that many others have expressed they would recycle more if curbside recycling was available to them.

Watts also proposed a green kayaking initiative.

“Some towns are now allowing people to get refunds on kayak rentals if they gather a small bag of trash during their outing,” said Watts. “This makes their kayak adventures free and helps to clean up our streams and rivers.” Watts’ proposal for green kayaking was accepted during the meeting. Downtown Coordinator Bailey Richards, who manages kayak rentals in downtown Hazard, said that she thought this was a great idea and planned to begin implementing green kayaking.

Officials expressed that they believed Watts’ proposals were great ideas and would be looking for ways to expand upon the recycling programs offered in the City of Hazard. City Manager Derrick Hall said the Perry County Fiscal Court had some stations set up in various places within Perry County to collect recyclables and the city was in the process of working with the county to further expand this program.

Mayor Donald “Happy” Mobelini added that due to Watts’ passion about this issue it may be a good idea to get other students involved in recycling initiatives as well.

“We’ll try to help you,” said Mobelini. “I mean it’s a good idea.”

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