Special to the Laredo Sun
LAREDO, TEXAS- Seven months into the once a week trash and recycling pick-up schedule, residents have made significant strides in separating trash and recycling, but City officials are hoping to help them do better. District V Cm. Roque Vela. Jr. will be joined by the City of Laredo Solid Waste Department to make sure residents know how to best utilize their new blue Billie Bote recycling bins, and even, how to take care of their Willie Botes. Helping them to achieve that will be students from Job Corps who will target District V on Monday, June 2 visiting with residents to explain not only what can be recycled, but also, what shouldn’t be.
“We recycle because it is good for the environment and good for the future,” said Cm. Vela. “Like all things, there is a learning curve and we can all do better to maximize our recycling while reducing the amount of trash we throw it. I hope to be a leader for the residents in my district, and throughout the community of Laredo, and show them how to recycle smart and how to throw trash away properly.”
“This is a great opportunity to keep promoting the importance of recycling and what better way to get this message out than with the voices of Laredo youth,” Vela continued. “The City of Laredo is going green with Billie Bote, the blue can for recycling paper, plastic, cardboard and cans which will help protect our environment and preserve our natural resources and to help keep our city clean.”
“But if our residents our confused or are unsure how to use their Billie Bote, then our program won’t be as effective, and it won’t matter how many Billie Botes are out in the community,” he added. “Residents need to be comfortable and confident about recycling.”
Students will be wearing Billie Bote shirts so that they will be clearly identifiable to the residents. Students will congregate at Alexander Estates Park, starting at 9 AM and then fan out into the various neighborhoods to talk about the program. Armed with the recycling brochure that came standard with every Billie Bote, they will patiently explain to residents how to maximize their recycling efforts.
“We are very excited to be able to partner with the City of Laredo on this extremely important project regarding recycling,” said Adriana Hernandez, Business and Community Liaison for the Laredo Job Corps Center. . “That is why this program with the City of Laredo is so important; not only will these great students show our residents how to recycle, this will be a great opportunity for our students to get out into the community and work on all of their skills they are learning here at the facility.”
The blue bins will work in much the same way as the blue bags, collecting all recyclables such as plastics: bottles, jugs, milk and detergent containers; metals: aluminum, steel and tin cans; and paper and cardboards: newspapers, office papers, cereal and other food container boxes, phone books, magazines, catalogs, gift wrapping and mail envelopes.
All recyclables must be loose in the bin; do not place inside any plastic bags. Additionally, like before, all recyclables must be clean and not include any food or other waste debris. All bins have a menu, in English and Spanish, on the lid of the can, to remind residents of what they can recycle. On the designated recycling collection day, just roll the bin out to the curb exactly like its trash counterpart, and in the same fashion, the recycling will be collected by the automated truck.
“I am very excited to have students from Job Corps help me spread the message about recycling,” said Billie Bote. “Recycling is important, easy to do and reduces the amount of trash in your Willie Bote. Remember, don’t trash it; recycle it!”
Another message that will be promoted is the importance of how to properly throw away trash and maintain one’s Willie Bote, to avoid insects from forming inside the trash bin. All trash material should be placed inside a plastic bag. Food waste, diapers, and other trash should not be thrown loosely in the bin; this will attract flies and other insects and odors, well. When not placed out on the curb for pick-up, it is also best to store one’s Willie Bote out of the sun, whenever possible. Additionally, it is important to wash out one’s Willie Bote every once in a while with vinegar or chlorine, to disinfect and avoid those accumulations.
For more information about recycling, bin maintenance or the new collection schedule, call 796-1098 or 3-1-1.