by Paul Darst
Sometimes, one man's trash really is another man's treasure.
For members of the Harrison County Solid Waste Authority who gathered at the courthouse Wednesday, much of the trash thrown away by area residents can be used to produce a treasure of new products.
The authority gathered at the courthouse for a lunchtime celebration of America Recycles Day. Organizers want area residents to know how important recycling is.
"We want Harrison County to kick it up a notch," said Paul Hamrick, acting director of the Solid Waste Authority. "People have seen their neighbors quit recycling for various reasons. We know there have been problems, but we're going to address them."
The Harrison County Commission currently is revamping its recycling ordinance to make it more enforceable, Hamrick said. That should lead to an increase in recycling in the county, he said.
The Solid Waste Authority, along with District 29-I Lions Clubs from the area, celebrated the day at the Harrison County Courthouse. They set up displays showing materials that can be recycled and what those materials can be made into.
The county commission also issued a proclamation calling Nov. 15 America Recycles Day in Harrison County.
This year, three area Lions Club International groups joined the Solid Waste Authority in celebrating the day by collecting used eyeglasses.
Those glasses will be distributed to needy people in other countries, said Carl Bartlett, of the Wallace chapter.
"We've been recycling glasses for years," Bartlett said. "This is just the first year we've been part of this recycling program."
The three Lions chapters had collected 120 pairs of eyeglasses by about noon Wednesday. It continued a tradition started by the Lions years ago.
"We've done this since Helen Keller asked us to be the sight of the blind," said Tina Canon, of the Wilsonburg chapter.
The glasses collected at the courthouse will first go to a center where they will be repaired and the prescription determined and marked on them, Bartlett said.
Then, they will go to South Africa, where they will be distributed, he said.
And Wednesday was not the only day people can drop off old glasses at the courthouse. The Lions Club has installed a bin there permanently to collect the used glasses.
Last year, the Lions Clubs in West Virginia collected more than 18,000 pairs of glasses, Canon said.
Staff writer Paul Darst can be reached at 626-1404 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.