DULUTH - It's been less than a year since a fire took the life from Gwinnett's Recycling Bank.
On Saturday, that same recycling bank will be reborn.
The word from visitors who saw a preview of the rebuilt facility Thursday is that it's different - bigger and better than before.
"It's nicer and is better for the public," Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District Director Chuck Warbington said. "The county needs this facility."
Connie Wiggins, the director of Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful, which operates the center, said the new facility is better than the old for a number of reasons. One of the upgrades, she said, is a dedicated education center where students can come to learn about the benefits of recycling.
According to Brenda McDaniel, Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful's teaching guru, the educational component of the new center will be beneficial for years to come because of the domino effect it has on students who come through the center to learn.
"We need to teach these kids to conserve our resources because they go home and teach their family members," she said. "They're the ones educating mom and dad and grandma and grandpa."
She said that's important because it's many of the older generations that weren't fortunate enough to have environmental education when they were in school.
At a cost of $4 million, which was funded by insurance coverage from the fire, the new center can recycle up to 225 tons of material per day while having the storage capacity for 250 to 300 truckloads. It also has the ability to sort cardboard, steel and aluminum. Hand sorters separate the plastic and glass bottles.
There is commercial unloading on the north end of the complex with residential on the south. The facility is free to use for businesses and residents and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And it now accepts 35 different types of products.
For a complete list of
those products, visit www.gwinnettcb.org.
To celebrate the center's reopening and to honor the 22nd annual Great American Cleanup - America's largest community improvement program - the Recycling Bank will host a kickoff event themed "Green Starts Here" on Saturday.
"This is a great time to load up all of those items cluttering up your garages, basements and sheds and take care of your spring cleaning," Wiggins said.
SideBar: If You Go
· What: Recycling Bank of Gwinnett's reopening
· When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday
· Where: 4300 Satellite Blvd., Duluth