By: Lynne Hart
There are many things to love about Athens and Limestone County. Some of my favorite things include the friendliness of the people I meet, the increased awareness and concern people have about our local environment, and the efforts to keep Athens the lovely bedroom community it has always been.

There are some things, though, that concern me. I cringe when land is purchased and prepared for building new developments and every single tree is removed and none are replaced. The neighborhood I live in is one example of that. There is more concrete than there is green space. It was necessary for me to move to such a neighborhood when my husband was still with me and needed a safe, handicap-accessible home.

If it were up to me, I would have trees lining our streets, which would be no problem because we have underground utilities. Because of all the concrete, there is nowhere to plant them even if the development agreed to it.

Benefits of Green Spaces
Close your eyes and picture your favorite park or other green space. Now imagine that place with no grass, no trees, no flowers, and no green. The tranquility of the place you imagined most likely vanished along with everything green. It has been proven that green spaces provide stress reduction, lower crime rates, improved mental health, and increased self-esteem. It also increases community appeal, drawing people to come to shop, visit restaurants, and participate in community activities.

Human beings are not designed to live in sterile, concrete environments. I personally feel a noticeable difference in my mood when I leave my nearly treeless, minimally green neighborhood and enter an area with trees, birds, flowers, and other signs of nature.

Submit Nominations
Our Athens-Limestone Beautification Board is all about the beauty of green space. This board enjoys rewarding those responsible for the most beautiful landscaping of businesses, industries, churches, and public buildings located within Athens and Limestone County.

This is where we ask for help. We count on Athens-Limestone residents to help us find the best landscaped properties and nominate these businesses, industries, churches, and public buildings for consideration to receive a Beautification Award sign, which they will display for one year.

Nominations will be accepted through May 15, 2018. Judging will take place in June by Master Gardeners who live outside of Limestone County.

Nominated properties do not have to be elaborate. The board is looking for landscaping that displays the following characteristics:

  • Suitability of landscaping to the site, interesting design, and use of color and texture in plant selection
  • All constructed walls, walks, etc. in good condition with materials used being suitable in color and size (if present)
  • A variety of healthy, well cared for plant materials exhibiting color, texture, and interest
  • Active maintenance evidenced by properly trimmed trees and shrubs; properly mowed, healthy grass; proper trimming and edging; no evidence of weeds or debris; and neat and perfected appearance.
  • No visible litter, with bulk trash containers concealed (if present)

Properties may be nominated online by visiting Click the Beautification icon and scroll to Beautification Awards. You can also find the form by going directly to
Nomination forms will also be available at the KALB office. Please provide the address of the property and, if possible, a contact at the business, church, or public building being nominated.

We’re in this together, and together we can make beautiful things happen.

Please call the KALB office if you have any questions about this or any of our other programs or projects.
By: Lynne Hart

By: Lynne Hart

A Huge Thank You!

On Saturday, February 24, a wonderful thing happened. The most wonderful part is that it happened without KALB initiating the event.

KALB received a call from Richard Lax, a Tanner resident who is deeply concerned about the litter he has seen in the Swan Creek Wildlife Management Area.

He didn’t just complain about it, and he didn’t call KALB and suggest we clean it up. Mr. Lax took it upon himself to work with David Whiteside and Tennessee Riverkeepers to organize a cleanup.

KALB happily provided trash bags, gloves, litter grabbers, and hand sanitizer for the volunteers. We also made contact with Jason Black, Limestone County Commissioner for the area, to ask for his help in picking up the trash bags and other debris after the cleanup. Mr. Black was pleased to help.

About 30 volunteers arrived ready to work. At the end of the day, 2,100 lbs. of trash and debris were removed from the area, including 16 tires and 2 mattresses. That weight did not include all the materials sorted out by volunteers so they could be recycled.

Thank you, Richard Lax, for being a wonderful example to our community.

The Swan Creek Wildlife Management Area on the Tennessee River in Limestone County is part of the Alabama Birding Trails and home to waterfowl, small game, and mudflats covered with shorebirds. This is a beautiful area of our county worthy of the cleanup received.

Elk River Canoe & Kayak Trail Cleanup – March 10th
If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit Limestone County’s section of the Elk River, you are missing out on one of our greatest treasures. You don’t have to travel by canoe or kayak to enjoy the beauty of the river, although it is a great way to do it. You can also find many places along its banks to take in the peaceful beauty it offers.

There are a variety of opportunities for recreation at the river, including fishing, swimming, boating, camping, bird watching, and so much more. Even those who are not interested in these activities benefit from the Elk River. Fourteen million gallons of water per day are taken from the Elk River, purified, and sent to our homes and businesses. That alone is a good reason for us to strive to keep our river clean!

Environmental awareness has increased; however, some people continue to use our river as a dumping ground for unwanted items, such as tires, television sets, furniture, appliances and more. Plastic is the material found most often in U.S. waterways. Plastics can be extremely hazardous to wildlife causing internal organ failure if ingested, or slow strangulation.

Volunteers are invited to meet up at the Hatchery Rd. boat launch area (off Hwy. 99 in West Limestone) at 8 a.m. on Saturday, March 10. KALB, TVA, and WOW! Cable Internet and Phone will provide supplies. After instructions are given, a group photo will be taken and volunteers will disburse to several areas around the river.

Participants are advised to wear appropriate clothing, including sturdy shoes or boots. Boats, canoes, and kayaks are welcome. This year, we have a supply of net bags that work well when working from the water. It never hurts to have a rake or other handy tool to reach and remove difficult debris; so bring them along if you can.

Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult and provide a Hold Harmless Agreement signed by a parent or legal guardian. A link to the form can be found at Forms will also be available the day of the cleanup.

Lunch will be provided at noon and all registered volunteers will be included in a drawing for prizes.

Last year, more than 50 volunteers removed 7,380 lbs. of trash and debris from the river and surrounding land areas. Some items found included tires, television sets, mattresses, carpet, broken glass, and bags of trash.

I cannot understand the mentality of people who purposely trash our beautiful county, or any other location for that matter. What I do know is that, over the years, more and more people are joining in the effort to make things better. Attitudes are changing. For those of us who already get it, let’s just keep doing the next right thing.

KALB would like to hear from you if you plan to join our river cleanup. Just send us a quick email and tell us how many plan to join you, so we can have adequate supplies. If you decide to come at the last minute, just COME! Everyone will be welcomed!

Thank you to all the wonderful people of Limestone County who are taking a stand and making things better in so many ways. You are our heroes!
By: Lynne Hart

By: Lynne Hart
Spring is right around the corner! What does that mean here at KALB? It means we are busy, busy, BUSY working on opportunities for you!

Leigh and I look forward to spring and all the KALB-sponsored events that are about to happen. All of these activities will amount to nothing without you, our fellow Athenians and Limestone Countians. Here is a list of upcoming events. Mark your calendars. Sign up. Just get involved in some way. There is something for everyone!

Watch for more details about each of these events on the Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful Facebook page or our website at

Earth Day T-Shirt Design Contest
KALB invites all students from 5th grade through 12th grade to enter this contest to design the 2018 Earth Day t-shirts to be sold at our Earth Day & Outdoor EXPO on April 28.

WOW! Is sponsoring some terrific prizes that include the following:
GRAND PRIZE: Design selected to be on Earth Day t-shirts, framed t-shirt, and $100 in art supplies for winning student’s teacher.

Contest Categories:
Grades 5-6; grades 7-8; and grades 9-12

Awards in Each Category: 1st Place: 6 art lessons at High Cotton Arts ($180 value); 2nd Place: 4 art lessons at High Cotton Arts ($120 value); and 3rd Place: 2 art lessons at High Cotton Arts. Winners may choose from a variety of art lessons.
Entry Deadline: All entries must be submitted in good condition no later than March 16, 2018. No entries will be accepted electronically.
For a complete list of guidelines, visit

Elk River Cleanup – March 10
KALB invites you to join other volunteers in an effort to clean up in and around the Elk River in Limestone County. We will gather at 8:00 a.m. at the Hatchery Rd. boat ramp in West Limestone for registration, distribution of supplies, and a group photo. Groups will then disburse to various areas around the river. Thanks to TVA sponsorship, lunch and prize drawings will take place at noon.

Please let us know you are coming, if you can, so we will have adequate supplies for the cleanup and lunch.

Marbut Bend Guided Trail Walk – April 28

Damien Simbeck, TVA Natural Resource Management, will lead this walk. Damien is a birding expert with knowledge of the area’s history and the wildlife that call it home. Meet at the trailhead at 7:30 a.m. Bring binoculars if you have them and insect repellent, and wear comfortable walking shoes. You will not be disappointed. Damien assures us that you will be finished in time to get to the Earth Day & Outdoor EXPO by 10!

The Marbut Bend Walking Trail is located in West Limestone on Hwy. 99 about a mile past the Elk River bridge on the left heading west, and is handicapped accessible.

Earth Day & Outdoor EXPO – April 28

Thanks to WOW!, our newest sponsor, this year’s Earth Day & Outdoor EXPO will be even more exciting! Teachers, parents, kids, and grandparents have told us how much they look forward to attending each year.

Wings To Soar will be returning with their beautiful raptors that they will free-fly over the heads of spectators. Free hot dogs and Pepsi will be available while supplies last, and a free door prize ticket will be given to everyone who attends. This year, you will not have to be in attendance to win!

This is a family-friendly event that will keep the entire family busy! Bring the kids and grandma and grandpa, too! We are never too old to learn something new from our exhibitors, and everyone loves to shop with our vendors.

KALB is currently accepting space registrations for exhibitors and vendors who would like to share information about our environment, earth-friendly products and services, health and wellness, or to sell quality crafts and wares.

Visit and click the EVENTS tab to find links to these events. Watch the Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful Facebook page, email us, or give us a call. We would love to talk with you about these or any of our activities and programs.
By: Lynne Hart
Executive Coordinator – Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful

By: Lynne Hart
Most people who recycle in Athens and Limestone County are aware that plastic grocery bags can be taken back to some of our grocery stores. Did you know that you can also bring them to the Athens-Limestone Recycling Center on Lucas Ferry Rd.?
What you may not know is that our Recycling Center accepts many other types of plastic film.

At the front of the Recycling Center located on Lucas Ferry Rd., just around the corner from Hwy. 72, there are rolling carts lined up with other drop-off bins waiting to be filled with your household plastic films. The carts have lids to keep the films from becoming litter when the wind kicks up. They may look like trash cans, but what they hold is not trash!

Trex purchases our baled plastic film to use in making beautiful composite lumber. Recycled plastic film from a variety of sources, ranging from the overwrap on paper towels to dry cleaner bags, sandwich bags, and grocery bags, is combined with recycled hardwood sawdust to make the composite lumber. Trex composite lumber consists of 95% recycled materials. By using recycled hardwood sawdust, Trex never has to cut down a tree to create their lumber!

According to the Trex website, they not only make beautiful decking and other outdoor products with recycled materials, they also use some of the most earth-friendly manufacturing processes in the country, reclaiming factory waste and eliminating the use of harmful chemicals.

We feel good knowing that the plastic film products we accept are handled responsibly. Here are some guidelines for recycling plastic film:
Acceptable items:
Please make sure plastic bags and other films are clean and dry.
Grocery and retail bags
Bread bags
Case overwrap (paper towels, napkin, bathroom tissue, etc.)
Dry cleaning bags
Newspaper sleeves
Cereal box liners
Re-closable plastic food storage bags
Produce bags
Bubble wrap and air pillows
Electronic film packaging
Ice bags (inside out and clip removed)
Salt bags (inside out and shaken)
Mattress bags
Furniture wrap

Undesirable Items:
NO black plastics (trash bags, etc.)
NO frozen food bags
NO pre-washed salad mix bags
NO laminate film
NO cheese bags
NO degradable bags

Recycling your plastic bags and other films will keep them out of the landfill or from becoming litter that is so easily carried by the wind. How many plastic bags have you seen waving from fences and tree limbs?

Trex was kind enough to send a bench built with composite lumber to the Recycling Center and it is on display for all to see. This is recycling at its best – going full circle from what some people consider trash to what is now a treasure – and one that won’t need to be painted!

Next time you drop off your recyclables, check out our new bench. Sit a spell and ponder the fact that what you are sitting on may contain materials recycled by you!
By: Lynne Hart
Executive Coordinator – Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful

By: Lynne Hart
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to a few of our outstanding Adopt-A-Spot volunteers and the organizations that have financially benefited from their volunteerism.

First, let me explain how the Adopt-A-Spot program works. KALB invites Individuals, citizen groups, and organizations to adopt a designated Adopt-A-Spot location to perform cleanups monthly, or as often as possible. After every 3rd cleanup, with a maximum of one reward per quarter, a $50 check is written to the adopting or designated organization. The receiving organization can potentially receive a total of $200 per year. KALB is grateful to the City of Athens for helping to fund this program through their annual appropriation.

Our city benefits from the removal of unsightly and dangerous litter AND a local organization receives funds that help give back to the community again!

Mr. Barry Phillips is faithful in his commitment to picking up two Adopt-A-Spot locations. The first is Forrest St. from Hwy. 31 to Jefferson St., and the second is Jefferson St. from Hwy. 72 to the Square. You can spot Mr. Phillips easily in his yellow safety vest using the supplies provided by KALB as he picks up litter along his chosen routes.

“I have been doing a couple of Adopt-A-Spot streets for a few years now and have gotten to where they are MY streets,” said Phillips. “I find myself getting upset at people who trash MY streets. Even when it’s not time to pick up trash, I’m looking for litter and planning my next pickup time.”

Mr. Phillips has chosen the Athens-Limestone Public Library as one of his designated non-profit organizations to receive his reward checks. “There is also an organization that profits from my work,” said Phillips. “I hear from them periodically, and I realize how important even a small gift is to them. It benefits both me as the giver and the community as the receiver.”

Paula Laurita, Director of the Athens-Limestone Public Library appreciates the donations received due to Mr. Phillips’ work. “The donations received through the KALB Adopt-A-Spot program have benefited everyone in the community,” said Laurita. “Mr. Phillips’ work supports literacy for all ages. ‘We Both Read’ books have been purchased with the reward funds for adults and children to share together. The best way to improve reading skills is for children to enjoy reading. By using the Adopt-A-Spot donations for these books, we are putting books in children’s hands.”

The organization that has been continuously volunteering in the Adopt-A-Spot program is Boy Scout Troop #24. This troop adopted Lucas Ferry Rd. in 2007 and has been faithfully picking up trash along that road ever since.

Reward checks go directly back to Troop #24, since they qualify as a non-profit within Limestone County. Scoutmaster Van Miller appreciates the opportunity for his troop to provide service to the community, and for them to learn through action the foundations of the Boy Scouts of America. “Being a good steward of the environment is one of those foundations, as well as being a good citizen,” said Miller. “The boys have commented many times on how much litter has been thrown along the road, and they question why people are not more considerate of the community.” Scoutmaster Miller said this service has been a great teaching tool. According to Miller, the funds received over the years from this program have allowed the troop to invest in the future of the scouts’ lives by allowing them to go camping, support service projects, purchase equipment, and supplement scout expenses so more boys can take part in scouting activities.

KALB has several spots available for adoption. I would be pleased to share more information and answer any questions you may have about adopting a spot in the City of Athens. The Adopt-A-Spot program benefits our community twice! It does not get much better than that!

Citizens may also adopt areas outside of the city; however, there are currently no reward monies available for county locations.
Call, email, or just stop in…I’m anxious to hear from you!
By: Lynne Hart
Executive Coordinator – Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful

By: Lynne Hart
I love to go to buffet restaurants! It gives me the chance to taste new things without the commitment of an order-off-the-menu meal. If I don’t like it, I can go back and get something else.

Getting involved with KALB is much like a buffet table. There are so many ways to get involved without the scary commitment. With the KALB Commission, Athens-Limestone Beautification Board, and the Athens-Limestone Recycling Center under our KALB umbrella, we have a great selection of activities and events that would benefit from your participation. Try one. If you do like it, you can decide if you want to walk in ankle-deep water or jump in! If you don’t like it, there are many other opportunities to choose from.

There are many reasons why people want to get involved. There are those who hope to learn something new, others who do it to get to know people, and some just like to help out in their community. Whichever one of these descriptions fits you, KALB can offer what you desire.

“I just want to volunteer for a few hours.”
KALB is always looking for volunteers to help at events such as the Home & Garden Show, Waterway Cleanup, Earth Day & Outdoor EXPO, Clean and Green Fiddlers Convention, our fundraisers and more. During the change of seasons, our Beautification Board appreciates help with replanting the pots around the square, cemetery landscaping, and other green spaces.

“Can I help with one event, and then end my commitment?”
It is very helpful to have volunteers who are not already involved with KALB join our planning committees. We love fresh ideas and a new perspective. If you would prefer to volunteer for just a few hours at one event, we would be happy to have you.

“I’m a follower, not a leader. Is there a place for me?”
Absolutely! We have a list of people who love to volunteer at our events, but don’t want to be in charge of anything. KALB has activities and programs going on year around with volunteers making them happen.

“When I decide I like a cause, I’m not afraid to get involved for the long haul.”
We hope you will like us enough to stick around! If this is you, KALB welcomes volunteers to join our KALB Commission, Recycling Board, or our Beautification Board. Board members meet monthly to discuss organization business and make decisions regarding board activities. Outside of these board meetings, commission and board members are asked to be involved in other organization activities as they are able.

KALB and all of Athens and Limestone County have benefited from thousands of hours of volunteer time provided by hundreds of people just like you. If you would like to learn more about our organization and the volunteer opportunities available in 2018, we would love to sit a spell and chat with you! Our door is always open.
By: Lynne Hart

By: Lynne Hart
As I write this article, the temperatures outside are dropping. I’m ready to go home and snuggle up under a warm blanket with my dog, Annie, and a cup of hot chocolate. How about you?

Before we get too comfortable in our warm homes, let’s take a few minutes to think about what we can do to make the winter months more comfortable for local wildlife.

Land development is pushing wildlife out of areas they once called home, leaving them to search for food, water, and shelter outside of their normal habitat. I have always felt a strong tie to the natural world, and agree with Peter Coyote’s statement, “Habitat for wildlife is continually shrinking – I can at least provide a way station.”

You will find some ideas below on how to provide a “way station” for local wildlife right in your own back yard.

• Fill your feeders with seeds that will provide high energy, such as black oil sunflower seeds. See the recipe included in this article for birdseed ornaments you can hang outdoors. Then enjoy watching the birds dine on your creations!
• Woodpeckers, Blue Jays, and other birds love suet. It provides the fats needed to help keep the birds warm. Be careful not to leave them out too long when the weather is above freezing as they can spoil.
• If you prefer to go natural, consider hanging dried sunflower heads for the birds to pick out the seeds. Hang strings of popcorn and cranberries where the animals and birds can reach them.
• Prepare for next winter by planting shrubs that produce berries, nuts, and seeds. The animals and birds will thank you for the healthy winter meals.


• Provide a birdbath or two. Place one on the ground for animals that can’t climb.
• Heat your birdbath if you are able. A warm bath is always nice!
• If you have the inclination, build a pond! Even a small one in your flower garden will be a welcomed addition.
• Keep your birdbaths and ponds clean.

Providing shelter doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive!
• Create a brush pile. Find a corner of your yard and pile leaves as the base. Add sticks and twigs and other brush. Small animals will find safety and warmth.
• Covering your flower garden with leaves provides shelter to small animals and insects.
• Add birdhouses, hollow logs, old drain tiles, rock piles and other creative shelters to your yard.
• Create a warm hideaway by cutting a hole in the side of a Styrofoam cooler. Add some straw (not hay or blankets) to add some warmth and tape the lid closed to prevent air leaks. Tuck the cooler in a protected area.
• Consider waiting until spring to trim your flowers and prune your hedges. The extra coverage will offer protection to small animals.

I find my greatest peace when I connect with nature, and I have a huge love for animals. How true are the words of Cecil Frances Alexander: “All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all.”
By: Lynne Hart
Executive Coordinator – Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful

By: Lynne Hart
Leigh Patterson and I get excited when our fundraisers are behind us and we can look forward to the month of November.

Each year, Leigh and I follow the 4-H Agent Assistant into every 5th and 6th grade classroom in the Limestone County Schools. This year, we had the honor of visiting a homeschool group as well! Our responsibility is to provide the presentation at each 4-H Club meeting.

For the past few years, Leigh and I have had great fun playing Environmental Jeopardy with each class. The competitive nature of the game keeps their attention and, we believe, makes a bigger impact than simply sharing information with the students. Each class is divided into three teams. Each team tries to outscore the others to receive an Environmental Jeopardy Genius certificate and bragging rights!

We have presented to nearly 50 classes this November!

When we enter the 6th grade classrooms, the students remember us as the “Jeopardy Ladies”! They are excited to play the game, but a bit disappointed when they realize the questions are different from those in the previous year’s version!

Before we begin, I explain that I am not there to tell them what they must or must not do. These children are growing up and must learn to sort information to make their own decisions. I tell them I am there simply to provide information, which they can tuck into their brains and pull out later when decisions must be made regarding their impact on the environment. Here is an example of just that:

By a show of hands (which I can’t see, so be honest), how many of you believe it is OK to toss an apple core to the side of the road? It is natural and biodegradable. When asked, the majority of students raised their hands. For many years, I was unsure of the answer until we began inviting wildlife experts to our Earth Day & Outdoor EXPO.

There I saw several raptors injured due to encounters with vehicles. How can an apple core cause a meat-eating raptor to tangle with a vehicle? The food at the edge of the road attracts rodents and other furry critters out into the open.

Raptors see it as their chance to catch dinner. They swoop down to catch the critter and out in front of an oncoming vehicle. I saw a few that had lost a wing, another with a blind eye, and there are many I will never see because they didn’t survive. I wonder how many of those apple-eating critters encountered their own demise after being drawn so close to the road.

I then explain to the students that having this new information will help them make future decisions about tossing food along roadsides. They may still decide to do it, but they will have to base their decision on all the facts they know. That is exactly the purpose of the Jeopardy game.

We may have finished our trek to the county schools, but we can look forward to our visit to all 5th and 6th grade classrooms in the city schools in March.

We certainly hope we impact these students in a way that will make them more thoughtful citizens.

As a Native American proverb says, “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” Let’s ponder that, shall we?
By: Lynne Hart
Executive Coordinator – Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful

By: Lynne Hart
For many years our recycling center has worked with the Limestone County Commission to place large green recycling trailers in strategic locations throughout Limestone County. We are happy to report that cardboard collection trailers have been added to most locations.

Ruby McCartney, Plant Manager of our Recycling Center, and center staff work hard to ensure that these collection centers are serviced weekly. When staff have to take the time to clean up dumped materials or rush out to service a trailer that has been reported as overflowing when it’s not, time is wasted and precious funds spent. Here are just a few things the center staff would like you to know:

• If one section of the trailer is full, check the other side. Often staff come to service a trailer and find one side overfilled with bags left on the ground, only to find that the section for this material on the opposite side of the trailer is nearly empty.
• Do not dump materials the center does not accept. When time has to be taken to clean up roofing shingles, mattresses, and other household junk, time and funds are wasted. The recycling center must haul these items back and place them in their dumpster, which is not free. The center must pay every time their dumpster is emptied. The county does not pick up the trash left at the trailers, so it becomes the task of our employees.

Please know that the schools can tell us at any time they no longer wish to have our trailers on their property. If the dumping continues (as seen in photos), then some of the county community recycling centers may have to be removed. Please don’t dump, and if you see it happening, report it. Please help us keep these community collection centers open for you.

Recycling trailers located at the following locations are for community use and are serviced by the Athens-Limestone Recycling Center on a continual basis.

• Athens Bible School
• East Limestone High School
• Cedar Hill Elementary
• East Limestone High School
• Owens Elementary
• West Limestone High School
• Elkmont High School
• Johnson Elementary
• Clements High School
• Ardmore High School
• Ardmore Police Station (no cardboard trailer)
• Piney Chapel Elementary

• Aluminum Cans
• Metal Cans
• Plastic Bottles/Containers #1 and #2 only
• Glass Jars/Bottles – all colors
• Newspaper
• Office Paper (shredded OK)
• Junk Mail, Magazines, Books/Phone Books (shredded OK)
• Cardboard (please flatten to save space)
Smaller Trailers are located at:
• Bay Hill Marina (no cardboard)
• Little Elk Missionary Baptist Church (no cardboard)
Our Athens-Limestone Recycling Center located at 15896 Lucas Ferry Rd. in Athens, accepts all of the above-mentioned items as well as the following materials on a DAILY BASIS:
• Electronics (during business hours – TVs $10 each))
• Used motor oil
• Used cooking oil

It is our mission to provide convenient places for every resident in Limestone County to recycle. We are here to serve the Limestone County community, and with your help we will do just that for many years to come.
By: Lynne Hart

By: Lynne Hart
There are many people, and we hope you are one, who want to recycle everything they can. It is our hope to provide outlets for as many materials as possible.

KALB’s Recycling Center is part of our non-profit organization. We must be very responsible with how funds are spent by constantly analyzing markets to be sure we are accepting materials for which we have a responsible buyer/recycler.

Each time we have items dumped at the center that we are not authorized to take, money must be spent to dispose of them, taking precious funding away from proper recycling. Each time household hazardous waste materials are dumped at the center, we are left with materials that should not be stored in with all of the flammable materials we do recycle. We have no outlet for these materials which is a huge burden to our organization.

Here are a few tips and reminders about what our Recycling Center on Lucas Ferry Rd. in Athens currently will and will not accept.

ACCEPTED ITEMS (* indicates materials also accepted at County Community Collection Centers)
*Plastics: #1 and #2 containers, such as water and soda bottles, milk jugs, juice bottles, laundry soap and shampoo bottles, and more. Check for a 1 or 2 inside the recycling triangle.
*Glass: Bottles and jars ONLY. NO other glass/ceramic items are accepted.
*Aluminum: Aluminum cans and scrap aluminum. Not sure if it is aluminum? If a magnet will not stick to it, place it in the aluminum bin.
*Metal: Metal food cans and scrap metals. A magnet will stick to scrap metals (except aluminum – see above).
*Paper: Newspaper (including all inserts), junk mail, magazines, phone books, hard and soft-cover books, and mixed paper are accepted. A good rule of thumb: If it tears, it is recyclable.
*Cardboard: Cardboard is always accepted. Please break down boxes to save space in the recycling trailers and bins, especially on the weekends. Our management staff often have to work weekends to keep control of overflow. This would not be necessary if boxes were flattened before being tossed in the bins.
Electronics: All electronics (anything with a cord or batteries) are accepted. There is a charge for TV sets. All other electronics are currently accepted free of charge.
Cooking Oil: In cooperation with the City Wastewater Department, containers are provided free of charge for residents to collect cooking fats, oils, and grease. Cages with the containers are located at the Recycling Center on Lucas Ferry Rd., at the KALB office at 125 East St., and at the City Utility Building.
Motor Oil: May be poured into a collection container in front of the Recycling Center, or it can be left in a container with a secure lid.

ITEMS NOT ACCEPTED The center cannot accept items for which we have no buyer. Items left at the center that are not on the list of accepted items will be considered an illegal dump violation! Security cameras are present.
Paint: NEVER ACCEPTED. Visit to learn how to use or properly dispose of leftover paint.
#3-#7 Plastics: CURRENTLY NOT ACCEPTED. Due to bans imposed on recycling imports to other countries, our buyer has stopped accepting #3-#7 plastic.
Molded Plastics: NEVER ACCEPTED.
Window Glass/Windshields/Ceramics/Dishes/Cups: NEVER ACCEPTED. The ONLY glass items accepted are bottles and jars.
Tires: NEVER ACCEPTED. Currently the Limestone County Commission accepts tires for recycling at each of their four garages. For information, visit or call 256-233-6400.
Furniture: NEVER ACCEPTED unless it is made of metal.

Please help us to be responsible with our funds by only leaving accepted materials at our center. If you need additional information, you may call the Athens-Limestone Recycling Center directly at 256-233-8746.
Let’s make better decisions together.
By: Lynne Hart
Executive Coordinator – Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful