Group to unveil simpler system for recycling trash

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett County's top trash monitor will unveil its new hands-off system for sorting recyclables today, and national guests will be on hand.

The machinery means residents and businesses can now put all their recyclables in one container instead of sorting them into glass jars, food containers, aluminum cans and other categories, said Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful Executive Director Connie Wiggins.

The new equipment largely takes the place of prisoners who have handled the tons of materials once they reach the Recycling Bank of Gwinnett at 4300 Satellite Blvd. in Duluth.

"This system will still have to use the inmates to help process some of the items, but it will speed up the process and allow us to handle more materials," Wiggins said.

The only other mechanized sorting system in Georgia belongs to a private enterprise in Forest Park, Wiggins said.

Before today, residents with curbside pickup could only leave these items by the road: newspapers, aluminum cans, food cans, milk jugs, detergent bottles and glass bottles and jars.

With the new machinery, office paper, junk mail, magazines, computer paper and catalogs join the list.

An extension of Gwinnett County government, Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful works to curb litter and graffiti, and it encourages recycling and oversees trash haulers in the unincorporated county.

It is a local affiliate of Keep America Clean & Beautiful. About 30 members of the national board will be in Gwinnett today to study the local affiliate and view the recyclable-sorting equipment.

Wiggins, who is on the national board, said "these are about 30 top CEOs from major corporations around the country and they are coming to Gwinnett to learn more about what Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful does and why we are so successful.

"We are considered one of the national models," she added.