Herald/Catrina Rawson - Karen Kinnison helps Ruth Caskey drop off items for recycling last week in Salado.

By Mason W. Canales

Killeen Daily Herald

SALADO - A small recycling effort has accomplished some big things.

With one-day collection, Keep Salado Beautiful has gathered 51 tons this year, so far.

"We are doing pretty good for a little town," said Karen Kinnison, who manages the nonprofit organization's recycling operation.

Money raised from recycling funds a sculpture garden at the Salado Creekside Business/Arts Campus and Salado Arts Workshop, a monarch butterfly way station at Thomas Arnold Elementary and native plants around the village.

In the past, the recycling program was operated by the city, but now about 30 volunteers handle the drop-off site and the trailer donated by Temple Iron and Metal, a company that pays the organization for the recycled material.

Eventually, the nonprofit wants to turn its recycling site into a nature center, said Lynette Reed, a member of the group. It will serve as a place for people to learn about recycling and being sustainable, she said.

The center will have natural plants and a variety of information to promote earth-kind living. Another site feature will be the greenery to shield the large trailer used to transport the recycling. The Bell County Naturalists are providing assistance for the various projects, too.

Kinnison said she is glad the village's residents contribute to the recycling program, which allows the organization to give money back to the community.

Every Saturday there is a line of vehicles with residents bringing cardboard, pasteboard, newspaper, magazines, catalogues, telephone books, tin cans, aluminum cans, plastic and glass.

"We pack the truck pretty deep and as high as we can make it," Kinnison said.

Reed said Salado's recycling program is working two fold. It's stopping usable materials from going to the landfill as trash and giving back to the community to help prevent further waste.

Contact Mason W. Canales at mcanales@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7474.

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