The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Allatoona Lake has taken a vital step toward becoming a “greener” project through the creation of a recycling program founded by Ranger Mark Jackson during the 2016 recreation season.
This program began at McKaskey Campground and the Operations Project Management Office, with the intention of building a recycling program for the entire Allatoona Lake Project. Since that time, the program has expanded into two campgrounds, four day-use areas, the Project Office, and the maintenance area. The program already has garnered a tremendous amount of public support, with hopes that the momentum will help the program grow into other campgrounds and day-use areas.
In November 2017, the recycling program at Allatoona Lake was able to take a big step forward by joining forces with longtime partner Keep Bartow Beautiful. Together, the two partners were able to enhance collection abilities at McKinney Campground. Campers are being educated about the new program, and the response has been encouraging. Campers are being asked to bag all bottles and cans and drop them in a trailer for recyclables when they leave the campground.
Corps volunteers are being utilized to collect aluminum cans and plastic bottles, and take them to the recycling center, where market price is collected for aluminum cans to expand the recycling program. Led by Brenda Grano, the volunteer staff often recycles bottles and cans they have collected from the roadsides, and they put in about 20 hours per week on the recycling program. Volunteer hours are expected to rise this summer with the anticipated arrival of several new recycling bins that will be placed in new areas.
Recently, Premier Surplus Inc. contributed two 48-gallon steel recycling bins that will be used in the Victoria Day Use Area for collection of plastics and aluminum cans. Victoria Day Use Area is a heavily visited day-use park, and it is hoped that this placement will help reduce the waste production in that area on the lake.
The Allatoona Lake Project, with the aid of its dedicated volunteers, has recycled more than 2,000 pounds of plastic, aluminum, cardboard and paper since August of 2017. Now, with the additional partnerships with Premier Surplus Inc. at Victoria Day Use Area, and Keep Bartow Beautiful at McKinney Campground, it is expected that the program will be able to reduce the overall waste production at the Allatoona Lake Project even further, and help keep our lake beautiful for generations to come.
For questions concerning Allatoona Lake or the recycling program, please contact the Allatoona Lake Operations Project Management Office at 678-721-6700, or visit us on the web at www.sam.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Recreation/AllatoonaLake.aspx or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/USACEAllatoonaLake.
By Christopher Purvis, lead ranger at Lake Allatoona over Partnerships, Volunteers and Project Security.