City asks community to join recycling program

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COLUMBIA - The city of Columbia and the public works department started a new recycling ambassadors program Tuesday.

The program will encourage recycling and waste reduction.The goal is to get volunteers to help with the department's outreach efforts.

"When there are events or opportunities to speak about recycling these ambassadors would be able to go out and tell people what we accept, what we don't accept, and the opportunities that we provide for recycling," Waste Minimization Supervisor Layli Terrill said. 

Local recycler Caitlin Christopher said she recycles once a week and thinks this new program is important.

"I think its good to get information out to the public about what recycling does for our environment, and hopefully get more people recycling, spread awareness," Christopher said. 

Terrill said anyone can be an ambassador.

"Families can do it as a group, individuals can do it. What it is, is taking advantage of opportunities that are already there. We will create some more hopefully as the program gets larger," Terrill said. "Ambassadors can go out and talk to students, talk to citizens, anyone who is curious about how to recycle." 

Ambassadors will answer questions about city programs, provide information, and promote recycling throughout the city. All ambassadors will be required to attend two hours of training and commit 10 hours of volunteer work per year.

The first training will be provided on Dec. 9, from 6 to 8 p.m. It will feature communication techniques, waste reduction education, recycling techniques, and other waste disposal ideas.

Christopher said she thinks Columbia's recycling program is good.

"Its better than other recycling programs, but I feel like every recycling program needs a little bit of work, and a little more community support," Christopher said. 

The city asks for friendly volunteers with communication skills to join the program.