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

By: Lynne Hart
Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. The night air is cool, the leaves dance in the wind as they fall from the trees, and the kitchen fills with the wonderful smells of chili on the stove, apple pies in the oven, and at my house pots of chicken soup simmering.

It is also the time when we prepare for fall festivals and celebrations. I really do wish the Christmas decorations would stay in the stock rooms at least until after Halloween.

Here are some tips to add some creativity to your earth-friendly celebrations:

  • Choose high-quality decorations that will hold up to many years of use rather than disposable decorations. Better yet, use fall’s bounty. Decorate with fall leaves, pumpkins, and gourds.
  • Choose to decorate an uncarved pumpkin. It will hold up much longer and, after washing it thoroughly, you can use it to make baked pumpkin seeds and pumpkin pie. Check out the recipe for Pumpkin Seed Brittle compliments of Martha Stewart!
  • Use your uncarved pumpkin to celebrate two holidays by using removable decorations! Decorate your pumpkin as a ghost with a piece of a white sheet and draw a face with black marker, then switch to a Thanksgiving theme. Let the kids use their imagination.
  • Create costumes with items you already have. Purchasing costumes can be very expensive and they rarely hold up for reuse.
  • Let your children walk from door to door, and consider walking with them if you can. Driving behind your children wastes gas. Walking is the best exercise and you will be right with your children to enjoy their fun!
  • Hand out healthy, but fun treats, or forget the candy altogether. Kids love fun-colored pencils, boxes of crayons, and other useful times that can be found at your local stores.
  • Use Halloween as a teaching moment by instructing your children to keep their candy wrappers off the ground. Take an extra bag with you to hold trash until you return home.
  • Provide reusable plates and utensils at your holiday parties. Disposable plates cannot be recycled and end up in the landfill.
  • Remember to recycle your cooking fats, oils and grease. Pick up a free collection container from the cages located at the Athens Utilities building, the KALB office, or the Recycling Center. Fill the container, return to the bottom shelf of any cage, and take another empty.

Most importantly, enjoy the holidays with your children. The best way to keep your children safe is to be with them as they enjoy fall festivals and trick-or-treating.
Have fun and create memories that will last longer than the candy in their bags.
By: Lynne Hart

By: Lynne Hart
Over the weekend, after a 2-day conference in Mississippi and a full day at the Grease Festival, I decided I would just relax. OK, that’s where you laugh because my mind always seems to stray to our KALB mission and how we could be doing better.

In an effort to find new and fresh ways to tackle the litter problem in the Athens-Limestone communities, I searched my favorite place for inspiring information – TED Talks. That is where I discovered Litterati!

Litterati is an app that allows citizens to photograph and upload photos of litter they find and, of course, pick up. Litterati uses the geotags associated with the photographs to track where litter is found and picked up. There is an interactive map on their website that allows you to get down to street level to determine where and what has been picked up. I want our community to be covered in red dots.

I am so excited about this app! Since this app is cell phone-based and can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, it seems to be the perfect app to entice our youth to get involved with litter cleanups. That’s not to say that we adults don’t love the idea of our efforts being logged, tagged, and counted in real time.

According to Litterati’s website, geotags provide insight into problem areas, while keywords identify the most commonly found brands and products. This data will help Litterati to work with companies and organizations to find more sustainable materials and solutions.

The United States is the most active country using this app. So far, 447,618 pieces of litter have been photographed, tagged, and uploaded. The most prevalent type of litter tracked is plastic, with the second most common being cigarettes.
Recently during a litter cleanup walk in Oakland, California, a Coke can was discovered. This is not unusual, right? Well, this Coke can had a pull tab and a vintage design not seen in present-day Coke selections. Investigation into the design of the can indicated that this red and white diamond design was from approximately 1966. This can had taken only a slight beating from the elements with some fading, rust, and minimal signs of decay.

What are we learning from this? Litterati, based on hard information provided by their users, works to encourage packaging companies and manufacturers to find and use even more environmentally responsible materials. A class of students did a survey of their campus and found that straw wrappers were the most littered item found. The school no longer purchases straws. Problem solved.

I think it would be interesting to actually know what is out there and what is picked up. We’d love to have as many of our residents participate as possible!

How To Participate

  • Download the Litterati app for your iPhone or Android from the Apple Store or Google Play free of charge.
  • Set up your account – very simple!
  • Grab your cleanup supplies and take a walk.
  • When you find litter, snap a close-up photo of it.
  • When your walk is complete, you can upload the photos you’ve taken. Click on the photo in the lower left corner of your screen and it will take you to your photo gallery. You will be asked to select an existing tag or you can create a new one to describe the litter in the photo.
  • When you are finished tagging, you then upload the photos.
  • You have the option of clearing your photo gallery or you can retain your photos if you prefer.

I am anxiously awaiting additional information from the good people at Litterati so that we can make the best use of this app in our schools and the community at large.

We hope you will join us and would love your feedback letting us know what you think. I will include more details in our next eNewsletter. If you are not currently receiving our newsletter, please send us an email asking to be added to our contact list.

Let’s work together to make Athens and Limestone County beautiful!
By: Lynne Hart

KALB Is In A Feathered FRENZY!

By: Lynne Hart
About this time each year, the hustle and bustle in the KALB office is at full tilt! So what’s all the excitement about?

On Saturday, 9/16, we will host our 14th Annual Duck and Run 5K. Our first 5K was held in 2004 making ours the longest-running 5K in Athens. Registrations will be accepted on race day beginning at 6:45 a.m.

Once we clean up after our 5K, we will begin gearing up for the Grease Festival on 9/30. This is an Athens Main Street event; however, KALB will have a presence there all day. Look for the yellow ducks and that’s where you’ll find us. We will be promoting grease recycling in Athens as well as our Wacky Quacky Ducky Derby. KALB will also help vendors recycle their grease at the end of this festival. Don’t forget to wear your toga!

Leigh and I will pack away our grease recycling paraphernalia and get ready for the Old Time Fiddlers Convention on October 6 and 7. This is one of our all-time favorite events. We enjoy ourselves, but we also work very hard. KALB will be responsible for providing recycling opportunities for guests and vendors. Our Athens-Limestone Recycling Center staff will be present to ensure that containers are serviced and vendors have what they need. We will also have volunteers handing out litter bags at the gates reminding guests that it is a clean and green event. Cub Scouts will also work with us to help clean up litter that just might find its way to the ground.

In between all of that, we will also be adopting ducks for our Wacky Quacky Ducky Derby. The rubber duck race takes place Saturday, October 7 at 4:00 the Duck Pond across from the college campus. Our business community never fails to amaze us. Check out this prize list!

  • $1,000 American Leakless Co. Grand Prize
  • 4 One-Day Park Hopper Passes – Disney World
  • Round of Golf for 4 Plus Cart – Canebrake Club
  • $250 Osborne’s Jewelers Gift Card
  • 1-Night Stay – Marriott Shoals
  • $100 Gift Card – Hobb’s Jewelers
  • $100 Gift Card – Publix
  • $100 cash from each of the following: Brody Jackson, State Farm Agent; Distinctive Landscaping, Inc.; Limestone Drug; Morell Engineering
  • Inline Lighting – TBA
  • $100+ Gift Package – SK Salon
  • 4 Passes – U.S. Space and Rocket Center
  • 4 Flex Tickets – Theatre Huntsville
  • 2 Flex Tickets – Theatre Huntsville
  • Family Package – Birmingham Zoo
  • $50 Free Beef Purchase – Limestone County Farmers Federation
  • $50 Gift Certificate – Eastside Pharmacy (2)
  • Free Ice Cream for a Year – MaggieMoo’s
  • $25 Free Poultry Purchase – Limestone County Farmers Federation
  • Photo Frame – Pimentos
  • Candle and Melts – Trinity’s of Athens

We’ll also be proudly showing off the ducks entered into our Quacky Duck Decorating Contest. Guest can vote for their favorite to win Best Decorated Duck – People’s Choice with their donations to KALB. $1 equals 1 vote. These ducks will also be auctioned off. I heard one duck say he hopes that you will take him home! Several ducks come with some very valuable attachments!

Fundraisers are a fact of life for all non-profits. It has become even more important for KALB due to loss of some appropriations last year. Since fundraising is a requirement, we work hard to make it fun for all! Your support will allow us to continue to take our message of personal responsibility for our local environment into the city and county schools, and continue our other litter-abatement, recycling, and beautification projects throughout the year!

If you are at any of these events, do stop and say hello!
By: Lynne Hart
Executive Coordinator – Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful

By: Lynne Hart
It won’t be long now before we’ll all be celebrating at the Athens Grease Festival! On September 30, throngs of toga-clad guests will take one day to honor everything fried. We’ll be looking for Twinkies, Oreas, Nutter Butters, pies, okra, fish, and anything else that can be battered and dropped into a vat of hot grease!

Come out to enjoy the food, fun, and music. We can eat responsibly the other 364 days of the year.

As you can see, Annie has her toga and crown ready. If you aren’t familiar with Annie, she is my dog and has her own Facebook page – Annie’s Canine Litter Patrol. Annie invites other dogs to encourage their owners to take two bags when they go for walks. One is for, well you know what it’s for. The second bag is for litter the canines sniff out along the way. Annie would love for you and your pooch to become part of her patrol. Just post a photo of you and your dog picking up litter on her Facebook page and you are IN!

So what does the Grease Festival have to do with KALB? Well, we will be there to have a good time just like hundreds of others. We will also be there to share information on the FOG Recycling Program provided by the City of Athens Wastewater Department. We will also ensure that all vendors have a proper way to recycle their used grease.

If you are not familiar with the FOG Recycling Program, here is an explanation. FOG stands for Fats, Oils, and Grease. FOG can originate from vegetable or animal sources, such as dairy products, vegetable oil, olive oil, or fats from cooking meats. Fats, oils and grease poured into the wastewater system (sewers) will cool and become a sticky layer on sewer pipes. The sticky mess then attracts and holds other food particles and debris that flows through the drains causing blockages or clogs. These clogs can then cause overflows. Removing these blockages is very costly, both financially and to the health of the environment.

The Athens Wastewater Department spends tens of thousands of dollars removing these clogs, the cost of which is passed on to the consumer, and we all know who that is! Although we celebrate grease at our annual festival, we don’t want all those little fatty party animals partying in our pipes!

How To Participate

FOG Collection and Recycling containers are available free of charge to Athens and Limestone County residents. Just pick one up from the white FOG cages located at the following locations:

  • Athens-Limestone Recycling Center – 15896 Lucas Ferry Rd.
  • KALB Office – 125 East Street
  • Utility Building – 1806 Wilkinson St.
  • Various apartment complexes in Athens (check with apartment management)

Once the container is full, return it to the bottom shelf of any of the collection cages. It is not required that you use a FOG container to collect your fats, oils, and grease. It can be recycled in any container with a secure lid. The contents will be processed and used in a variety of products.

With the holiday season approaching, we want everyone to be aware of this program and ready for all the fats, oils, and grease created by roasting turkeys, hams, and other delicious holiday foods. Stop and visit with the KALB folks at the Grease Festival to learn more about this program.

Don’t forget your toga!
By: Lynne Hart
Executive Coordinator – Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful