FRANKFORT, KY: Governor Ernie Fletcher today urged all Kentuckians to recycle more, a move that will not only protect the state’s environment but will improve its economy as well. Governor Fletcher kicked off a week-long series of events to mark the 35th celebration of Earth Day (April 22) and expressed his support for improving the state’s environment.
Governor Fletcher noted the average Kentuckian produces almost 8 pounds of waste every day, nearly 1 pound more than the national average, which adds up to 1.45 tons each year.
“For this Earth Week, I am encouraging every Kentuckian to take personal responsibility for our environment by recycling more this year. Bottles, cans, cardboard, newspapers and plastics all have value and should be recycled,” said Governor Fletcher.
“I also want to encourage all Kentuckians to help us ‘close the loop’ by purchasing goods made from recycled materials. Manufacturers are using recycled materials in their products, but as consumers we need to support this effort by purchasing goods produced from recycled materials.”
Governor Fletcher mentioned specific businesses in Kentucky that produce goods from recycled materials and employ hundreds of citizens. These companies manufacture plastic drainage chambers, strapping material, playground equipment, insulation and mulch from items such as plastic bottles, automotive interiors and newspapers.
LaJuana S. Wilcher, secretary of the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet (EPPC), said state government is doing its part by recycling white paper, mixed paper and newspapers. “On average, a state employee produces one pound of recyclable paper about every three days,” said Wilcher. “Our recycling program collects 1,680 tons of paper per year, and the revenue earned pays for the entire program, meaning no tax dollars are used in the effort.”
The state Transportation Cabinet is doing its part by recycling used oil, oil filters, antifreeze, batteries, guardrail and other scrap metal. Governor Fletcher also announced a new initiative aimed at increasing the awareness of mercury contamination. A joint effort by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, the Department of Education and EPPC will provide educational materials regarding mercury to all Kentucky schools.
Kentuckians will join others across the world in celebrating Earth Day on Friday, April 22. Spearheaded by the EPPC, a number of state agencies, local governments, businesses and organizations have joined together to celebrate Earth Day. Some of these partners have organized environmental activities throughout the month of April while others are providing information and resources on protecting Kentucky’s environment.
This is the second year in a row for a month-long, organized campaign in celebration of Earth Day. Among activities planned are hikes, special events, college campus programs, collection of cell phones for recycling and demonstrations of new, environmentally friendly technology. Visit the state Earth Day Web site at www.environment.ky.gov/earthday to learn more about Kentucky's Earth Day celebration.