I urge all Homer area residents to recycle their paper and corrugated cardboard boxes this Christmas season. Most Christmas gift wrapping and boxes are recyclable. We do not need to unnecessarily throw these items into our transfer stations and ultimately into our landfill. By recycling, we save landfill space, conserve our natural resources, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Any mixed paper products and cardboard that we recycle can be sold and made into new materials.
The Homer area has five places where paper and cardboard can be recycled — at the main transfer facility on the Sterling Highway, Anchor Point, McNeil Canyon, Save U More and the Homer Spit.
Nationally, 37 percent of fiber in new paper products comes from recycled materials. However, manufacturers are able to use much more recycled products. Our Kenai Peninsula Borough Solid Waste Management Department has a budget which is the second largest, after Education. Our taxes pay for our landfills and transfer facilities. The more waste we can divert from our landfills the less we will spend on creating new landfills.
We also can recycle our glass containers at every transfer site except for the Homer Spit and Save U More sites. Glass takes centuries to decompose in a landfill, and many sources say it never decomposes. Yet, 90 percent of recycled glass is made into new glass and the demand is high to have more recycled glass.
Please recycle your paper, cardboard and glass this season, also aluminum and tin cans.
An ad hoc group has begun meeting in Homer to promote recycling. For further information, please contact Loretta Brown at the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies at 907-235-6741.