TDEC says West Tennesseeans Lag Behind in Recycling
JACKSON, Tenn. — Students at Andrew Jackson Elementary School celebrated Earth Day, Tuesday. Many hope the message to recycle and reuse sinks in. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation said West Tennesseans throw away more trash than Middle and East Tennessee. City leaders said they want to change the trend. “I feel that it’s no age limit and you can never be too young to learn about recycling and learn about protecting the earth,” Jackson City Councilman Ernest Brooks II said. Marcus Chandler with Sunrise Recycling said the national average for recycling is 34 percent, and southern states fall at a staggering 20 percent. “I think a lot of times people you know, they’re taught to throw things in the trash before they’re taught to read or write,” Chandler said. “So if you can teach children to rethink that idea then we can increase participation.” Records show in 2011 Tennesseans disposed of nearly 11 thousand tons of trash. Brooks said by speaking to students he hopes to instill traditional values. “Actually it’s ordained by the bible, it’s scriptural,” Brooks said. “God has placed man having dominion over the earth.” Chandler said it takes more man power to recycle, which could boost the economy, something he hopes resonates with Andrew Jackson students. “The economic agenda and the environmental agenda are painting opposing agendas and its really not the case,” Chandler said. “Recycling is definitely a job creator.” Chandler said for every 10 pieces of trash thrown away up to eight can be recycled.