Executive Director of Keep Peachtree City Beautiful, Al Yougel, took the time to detail his budget to concerned citizens and council members last Thursday night at City Hall. Reviewing the proposed budget, he revealed an increase in funds but also additional expenses that left the budget balanced at $99,458.
The Keep Peachtree City Beautiful, or KPTCB, budget has increased by about $12,000 from the payout of all the recyclable materials that they collect. However, the budget also has to account for the additional expense of the cost of pulling the recycle bins around the city, according to Yougel.
Alongside the list of numbers and values in Yougel’s spreadsheet was an extra number that Yougel added. “One-hundred and fifty years, that’s how long it will be before I figure out why people litter. I just don’t understand it,” said Yougel. With all the work and money that goes into the KPTCB efforts, residents should take advantage of the opportunities to recycle.
Expansion of the recycling program has expanded coverage to athletic and recreational fields, adding 125 trash bins to those locations, as well as eight dog stations. Recycling is also featured now in several offices and five schools, where paper can be recycled in large amounts.
Outside of the cost of expansion, funds must be used to pay for the man-hours that contribute to the
ecycling effort. These hours include covering the 624 hours that the Rockaway Road facility is open, where residents can drop off recycling on their own if they wish. There are still two months left for statistics to be collected, but at this point already, the two recycling facilities have collected around 730,000 pounds worth of drop-off materials.
The roads take time to clean. Requiring 6,300 hours to walk or ride 83 miles along the roadside each week. Unpaid work hours factor in as well with KPTCB workers giving 6,000 hours beyond their contractual obligations to help with the effort, according to Yougel. Court-mandated community service hours account for a lot of the time spent picking up waste, with 1,330 people going through the program in so far KPTCB’s existence. Some people have contributed as much as 770 hours of community service.
Although many people give their time to keep Peachtree City beautiful there is still so much more that can be done. Only 60 percent of the households in Peachtree City are utilizing their curbside recycling option. “Its free, anybody who wants to recycle can do so absolutely free and their trash pickup provider provides the container, and we still only have 60 percent,” said Kim Learnard in light of Yougel’s numbers.
Yougel believes the lack of participation could simply be a lack of knowledge of the availability of recycling. “We often question people at Rockaway Road and at our drop-off. WE have signs out that say ‘Do you know that if you have residential waste removal, you can have curbside recycling for free?’ and a lot of people will say, ‘I didn’t know that.’” said Yougel.
Imker gave his thoughts that the effort to keep Peachtree City clean should not have to be so intensive.
“I can understand if something slips out of the golf cart and you don’t notice it, but every time I’m walking up and down the cart path I’m picking something up. I just don’t understand. Why can’t you people just pick something up when you see it? It’s simple to do,” Imker questioned.
Recycling is indeed simple to do, and effective. Yougel, the council members, and the staff of KPTCB all hope citizens will soon be joining the effort to recycle and preserve the beauty of their home.