In June 14 issue, Russell County NewsBy Kim GrahamRussell County News Reporter
Driving along the winding entrance road to Lake Cumberland State Park, it’s hard to imagine a place any greener.
The well manicured, immaculately maintained grounds epitomize the picturesque nature of Kentucky State Parks.
A growing environmentally conscious society and some tenacious community leaders have led the way to a new recycling program at the park.
“I felt there was a need and I went to work,” said John Carter Director of Marketing for Russell County Tourist Commission.
Carter has been contacting local businesses in an effort to connect them with the recycling services available in the county.
Already, the park collects and bales about 14 bales of cardboard each year for recycling. Still the park pays $600 every two weeks for garbage pickup.
With the recycling program in place, officials hope to reduce that expense and contribute to a more efficient, cost effective and greener park environment.
They are collecting recyclable plastic, aluminum, paper and tin from all areas of the park including the campgrounds.
Russell County Recycling has joined the efforts to take the park to a higher level of green by supplying collection containers and pick up service.
“We come and get it and don’t charge them anything,” said Russell County Judge Executive Mickey Garner. “It’s that much trash that doesn’t go in to the ground.”
Russell County Recycling has delivered a 30 yard dumpster to collect recyclables at the park.
“The county is making it very easy for us,” said Steve Eastin Interim Manager at Lake Cumberland State Park.
Park staff and visitors need only separate recyclables from trash. At the Russell County Recycle Center, inmates will sort items collected from the park to be recycled.
Recently, Russell County Recycling received a state grant of $26,000 for the purchase of two recycle trailers which will be placed at the park for collection during peak visitation in summer months.
The trailers will streamline collection by allowing depositors to sort recyclables into separate bins.
During the winter, one of the recycle trailers will be moved to a central location in town for local citizens to more conveniently drop off household recyclables.
“It’s hard to keep up with recycling because the program is growing so fast in the county,” Garner said.
The county has leased two 30 yard dumpsters and plans to add 8 recycle collection trailers to contend with the burgeoning recycle program.
Also on board the recycling effort is Bill Jasper at the State Dock.
“We’ll get rid of a lot of trash we’re paying to get hauled off anyway,” said Jasper.
The State Dock is furnishing recycle containers on the docks and a barge to collect recyclables. Russell County Recycling will also pick up the dock’s collection of reusable resources.
Jasper was in the process of implementing the Cumberland River Basin Clean Marina Program at the state dock when he was contacted about joining in the recycling program.
The clean marina program promotes environmentally responsible marina and boating practices and helps marina operators to be good stewards of the resource that supports their business.
Not only does being proactive in the recycling effort benefit Lake Cumberland State Resort Park but it also improves the standard of living in the community.
“Let’s do something good for our community,” Jasper said. “It just takes a little effort.”