2013-04-25 / Island Life

Recycling program is free

By Jim Dubois

People might not be aware of it, but Port Aransas has a recycling program, and it’s free.

Recycled trash pick up is included in the basic, household trash pick-up.

Since 2007, Republic Services has taken care of trash and recycling pick up in town. The company also serves Corpus Christi, Rockport and other surrounding cities.

All people have to do is get a recycle bin at Port Aransas City Hall. However, only single family homeowners can benefit from the program. The pick-up cannot be performed for condominiums or apartments for logistical reasons.

Yet, condos and apartment dwellers can still recycle, using the big recycle bins all over town. Two bins are located in the city hall parking lot, multiple ones are on the beach and the transfer center also offers recycle bins.

Recycling is a key component of modern waste reduction and is an easy way for citizens to make an impact in reducing global warming and energy waste, according to Green Team vice-president Rae Mooney.

For example, recycling aluminum helps save 95 percent of energy and reduces 95 percent of air pollution, according to scientific studies.

Port Aransas has multiple organizations and groups that promote recycling.

The University of Texas Marine Science Institute Green Team is a group of students, teachers and staff that works every day to make Port Aransas a cleaner place.

Its mission is to make UTMSI and Port Aransas more sustainable and eco-friendly and to reduce the impact on the environment.

The group hosted a “Recycling Challenge” during the Whooping Crane Festival in February.

“Many of the visitors to our booth were visiting Port Aransas, but of the people who live here, either full time or part time as Winter Texans, many did not know that Port Aransas even had a recycling program”, Mooney said.

The group discussed the outcome of the recycling challenge and thought Port Aransas residents needed to be made aware of the “green” things the town is doing, according to Mooney.

“There is and has been curbside pick-up for recycling in Port Aransas at single family homes with trash pick-up,” Mooney explained. “Everybody here loves nature, so people should realize that recycling is a great way to preserve it.”

The group also cleans the south jetty once or twice a month.

“People go fishing and leave their trash behind,” Mooney explained. “We pick up a lot of things when we go clean the jetty.”

The group is thinking about having a trash summit, probably this summer. A summit would bring scientists and researchers to town to talk about recycling and its impact on environment.

“It’s a way for us to educate the public,” Mooney said. “People can come and listen to us. They can ask questions and learn more about recycling and global warming.”

The group also encourages people to walk or ride bikes. In other words, anything that could help preserve the environment.

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