By Joshua Winata

The Cove Herald

Many residents have good intentions to protect our environment by recycling but lack the knowledge needed to take proper action.

The Copperas Cove Solid Waste Department has rendered any excuses obsolete by making recycling convenient and accessible for all members of the community.

Getting started at home is only a phone call away. Residents can claim recycling collection bins by visiting or calling the solid waste department at (254) 547-4242. Up to three of the blue bins are available for every household in Copperas Cove.

In addition to paper, cardboard, aluminum and steel cans and plastics labeled 1 or 2 can also be placed in the blue bins for recycling collection. As of this time, glass is not able to be recycled in Copperas Cove.

The rate of participation in the town’s residential recycling program is about 21 percent.

“We recycle as much as we possibly can right now, and we’re also always in the process of looking for more opportunities to recycle,” said Sylvia Rhoads, executive director for the Solid Waste Department.

Almost 170 tons of residential waste have been recyled in Copperas Cove since January.

One of the largest impacts recycling and waste prevention can have is reducing the loss of forests. For every ton of paper recycled, 17 trees are saved from having to be cut down to make newspaper.

In fact, if all the newspapers printed in the U.S. alone were recycled, more than 250 million trees would be saved each year. Additionally, reduced forest loss increases the storage of carbon dioxide in trees and helps to reduce the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

About 103 tons of newspaper have been recycled in Copperas Cove since the year began.

In addition to reducing the environmental impact, recycling also reduces the impact on the city’s budget by lowering hauling and disposal costs, reducing the chances of an increase in waste removal fees for residents, and generating revenue.

This year alone, revenues from recyclables have so far totaled almost $20,000.

The city picks up recyclables in the blue bin every two weeks during regularly assigned garbage collection days. To determine the exact schedule, call the Solid Waste Department for details.

Apartment or condominium dwellers may have to take an extra step as door side service is difficult for collectors. Residents of multi-unit habitations, or anyone else needing to drop off their recyclables, can come by the recycling center at the solid waste department and leave their goods in the large black bins. Motor oil and tire recycling is also available at the recycling center.

For now, the department’s recycling center is the only drop-off site. Public recycling bins located in the parking lots of Wal-Mart and H-E-B were closed in 2003 due to a high incidence of illegal dumping.

In addition to the usual recyclables, the city also gathers discarded brush and turns it into compost, which is then sold to local farmers and gardeners. Compost can be purchased at the solid waste department for $8.50 per cubic yard. Last month the city collected more than 10 tons of brush.

Businesses can also be eco-friendly by signing up for commercial recycling collection. Again, a simple call to the solid waste department is all it takes. Topsey Mercantile and Dollar General are two of the biggest generators of recyclable materials serviced by Copperas Cove.

Commercial collection is scheduled for Tuesdays and Fridays, but businesses can also request one-time pick-ups for special circumstances.

Contact Joshua Winata at or call (254) 547-6481


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