Lynne HartIt’s recycling day and you are about to put your bin out to the curb. You try to be as helpful as possible, so you placed all of your newspapers in a plastic bag to keep them together and dry.

The curbside truck comes by and is able to grab all of your newspapers and toss the bag into the proper section of the truck.

This is a good thing, right?

Actually, once all of that newspaper is dumped at the Recycling Center, employees must manually sort through the tons of paper that come through to find contamination — which includes plastic bags. Every time someone puts their newspaper in a bag trying to be helpful, several hours of work must be done to find those bags in the pile of papers so they can be removed.

And when the bags are tied shut…well that’s just another step trying to get the newspapers out of the bag.

KALBWhy is this important? We could spend hours preparing a semi trailer load of newspapers to ship for sale. If the load is contaminated, we will not be paid for the load and have to pay shipping to have the load returned. All the time and effort spent is lost…and then some.

I recently spent just a few hours helping sort through a mountain of newspaper at the center and it is a very time consuming process that could be avoided. The same process takes place when any other material is placed in plastic bags, such as aluminum or metal cans. This is where your help is needed!

The Bottom Line

Clean N GreenWe appreciate your desire to help. If you will follow these two simple guidelines, you truly WILL be helping the recycling center staff be more productive!

If you use curbside, please do NOT separate your items using bags of any kind. (Wet newspaper CAN be recycled.)
If you bring your items to the recycling center separated in bags, please dump your items OUT of the bags and deposit your plastic bags in the containers labeled “Plastic Bags.”

I speak for the staff at the Recycling Center when I say, THANK YOU!
By: Lynne Hart

Dobbs Shoe Shop Clean n Green

KALBReady or not, the holiday season will soon be upon us. Thanksgiving is just a few days away and Christmas is right around the corner!

Many people turn off the oven and turn on their outdoor turkey fryers to cook their holiday birds. If you are deep frying your very first turkey, please look for safety precautions on the internet as this can be a dangerous venture!

Lynne HartOnce the cooking is complete and dinner has been “gobbled” up, what can be done with your used cooking oil? When your cooking oil has been used to its maximum, it can be recycled. Be prepared to recycle your cooking oil by picking up free FOG (Fats, Oils, and Grease) Collection jugs from one of the exchange cages located at the Athens-Limestone Recycling Center, the KALB office, or the Athens Utilities Building on Wilkinson Street (employee entrance left of main entrance).

KALBPlace your used kitchen fats, oil, and grease, including the oil from your turkey fryer, in the container(s) and return them to the exchange cage. Be sure to take an empty collection jug home with you so you can continue to collect your kitchen FOGs.

The FOGs will be used by a Limestone County farmer to make biodiesel fuel to run his farm equipment, keeping all of the benefits of this program local.

KALBPlease keep all FOGs out of your drain pipes. It is a very expensive problem for homeowners and the Athens Wastewater Department when clogs occur. Every single clog, no matter where in the sewer lines it occurs, begins with fats, oils, and grease. The Athens Wastewater Department spends tens of thousands of dollars to unclog sewer lines…money that comes right out of our pockets in the way of higher sewer bills.

FOG will CLOG! Please Recycle all kitchen Fats, Oils, and Grease this holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving!

By: Lynne Hart

Hazel Green Chiropractic

Lynne HartOver the past 10 years, cigarette smoking in America has decreased 28%, yet cigarette butts are still the most littered item in the U.S. and in the world. Often, people who would never think of littering anything else, will flick a cigarette butt out the car window, drop it on the ground, or stick it in a planter without a second thought. Tobacco products make up almost 40% of all roadway litter in the United States.

Cigarette Litter

Why do smokers litter?

Most often it is a lack of awareness about the environmental impact and lack of ash receptacles. New smoking ordinances are also moving more smokers outdoors to smoke.

Why does it matter?
Cigarette LitterCigarette litter is ugly, costly to clean up, and harmful to waterways and wildlife. Residents and businesses “pick up” the tab through more sidewalk, street, and parking lot sweeping, park maintenance, storm drain cleaning, and maintenance of storm water filters. Recreation areas become less attractive. Who wants to see cigarette butts on walking trails, in our parks and picnic areas, or floating in lakes and rivers?

How does it affect the environment?

Cigarette LitterCigarette filters are designed to trap poisonous chemicals as the cigarette is smoked. These filters are made of a type of plastic that can take years to biodegrade. They are carried by wind and rain into storm drains and waterways where the trapped chemicals leak into our ecosystems, causing harm to fish and other wildlife. Filters can also be very dangerous if swallowed by small children. With TRILLIONS littered annually, the cost of cleanup and the dangers to the environment quickly add up!

What is the solution?

KALBSmokers should be responsible about how their cigarette litter is handled. Make an effort to find and use an ash receptacle. This insures that the cigarette litter ends up in a landfill where the dangerous chemicals are contained.

KALB has been the recipient of a Keep America Beautiful Cigarette Litter Prevention grant, with which we purchased ash receptacles for walking trails in Athens. We also received a supply of pocket ashtrays which can be used to safely contain cigarette butts until a proper receptacle is found. Smokers are invited to stop by the KALB office at 125 East Street for your free pocket ash tray.

Dobbs Shoe Shop Hazel Green Chiropractic

Lynne Hart
Decorating for the holidays can be fun.  It can also be expensive!

Here are a few ideas using items you may already have at home.  Save some green while being green and have a Happy Halloween!

Milk Jug Ghosts

Halloween Milk JugsCollect some empty milk jugs.  You can use gallon or half-gallon containers.  Make sure you wash them thoroughly.

On the opposite side from the label, use black paint or a black Sharpie marker to create funny or scary ghost faces.  Leave caps on while you do this so the jugs won’t dent.

If you have white paint, use it to color the caps white.  You can also use your paint or marker to paint the caps black.

Cut a 2″-3″ hole in the back of the jugs (this is an adult job).

Line up your ghosts.  Place portions of a string of 50 clear low-wattage holiday lights into each jug.  Plug them in and they’ll brighten your holiday!

Window Critters
Use large pieces of cardboard or other material you have available that will fit in the windows you have selected to decorate.
Draw the outline of your critter and cut out (let an adult do the cutting). Paint the critter black.

Use cellophane to cover mouth, eyes, and other openings as shown in the picture.  Attach to the back of your critter. You can use light colored markers to add accents to the cellophane.

Make sure the lights are on in the room so your critters can be clearly seen from outside!

Ghosts Suckers

Ghost SuckersHere’s a great idea to dress up your Halloween sucker treats! Use whatever size suckers you like. Cut out squares of white fabric or tissue paper large enough to cover the sucker leaving enough to cover most of the sucker stick.

Using black string or ribbon, tie a bow tightly just under the sucker.  You can dress it up a bit by using orange or colorful ribbon if you have it available. Add ghost faces using a black marker. Enjoy the smiles as you give these to your guests!
By: Lynne Hart

Athens Kids Mart

We all know the results of a clogged drain….inconvenience, expense, and a big mess. It is no different when the clog occurs in the Athens city sewer lines, and the expense is passed on to us in the form of higher sewer rates.

Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful and the Athens Water Services Department have teamed up to provide residents a way to easily keep FOGs (Fats, Oils, and Grease) out of drains and sewers and turn it into something useful!

The fats, oils, and grease collected will be recycled by a Limestone County farmer into biodiesel fuel for his farm equipment. We hope that participation is so great that we can supply more local farmers who would like to do the same.

How to Participate

Pick up a FOG Collection jug from the KALB Office (125 East Street) or the Recycling Center at 15896 Lucas Ferry Road. Once all collection cages have been placed, you can pick up a jug at those locations.
Fill the jug with your kitchen fats, oils, and grease.
When full, take to an exchange cage – place on bottom shelf.
Take a clean jug home and REPEAT!

Exchange cages are currently in the process of being placed at the following locations. Until they are all placed, you can take your filled collection jugs to the recycling center.


(Apartment locations are in process of being placed)

KALB Office (125 East St) Recycling Center (15896 Lucas Ferry Rd.)

Higgins Estate Apartments Windsor Apartments

Woodbridge Apartments Sanderfer Apartments

Sandpiper I Apartments Sandpiper II Apartments

Higgins Court Apartments

If you have questions about this or any other program sponsored by KALB, we’d love to hear from you!
By: Lynne Hart


Our racing ducks know they’ll be swimming for a good cause — to support the work of KALB — so they are all flexing their feathers and preparing for the important race!

How Does it Work?
For a $5 donation to Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful, a specially-designed rubber racing duck will be placed in our Wacky Quacky Ducky Derby in your name! For a $25 donation, you will receive a CHICK-FIL-A Quack Pack which includes SIX ducks and a coupon for a free sandwich from the Athens Chick-fil-A restaurant!

On October 6th at 4:00 p.m., these numbered rubber ducks will swim down the spillway at Big Spring Memorial Park (right across the street from the Fiddler’s Convention at Athens State). Two heats will determine which ducks will enter the Championship Race. Every duck in the Championship Race will bring home a prize for the human that adopted him! The number of ducks in the Championship Race will be determined by the number of prizes at the time of the race.

What Can You Win?
We are receiving more prizes all the time! Here is a list of some of the prizes you could take home:

$1,000 McClary Ford Grand Prize
$250 Gift Certificate to Osborne’s Jewelers
Theatre Huntsville Flex Tickets for 2 ($120 Value)
Dollywood Passes for 2 ($114 value)
$100 Gift Certificate to Hobbs Jewelers
$100 Cash Prizes provided by The News Courier and Limestone Drug
$99 Teeth Whitening from Athens Dental Services
Limestone Bay Trading Company Gift Certificates
Birmingham Zoo Passes
Publix $50 Gift Card
$50 Cash Prize from Eastside Pharmacy
More to Come!

How to Adopt Ducks
Visit our website and follow the links to adopt any number of ducks online. You can also pick up a Wacky Quacky Ducky Derby brochure at area businesses in Athens. We’ll also be at the Athens Grease Festival on Sept 29th and at the Fiddlers Convention on Oct. 5th and 6th where we will have duck adoption forms available.

What Does This Support?
KALB’s programs touch every resident in Limestone County in one way or another. We provide environmental education programs in city and county classrooms, support other organizations having clean and green outdoor events, organize and provide supplies for the Adopt-A-Spot program, provide an outstanding recycling program for the entire county, host the annual Earth Day Celebration which is free to the public, and much more!

Visit our website WWW.KeepAthensLimestoneBeautiful.Com
Or give us a call at 256-233-8728 we’d love to tell you more!
By: Lynne Hart

KALB hosted a luncheon for city and county school administrators, green team leaders, and public officials recently in an effort to encourage increased recycling education and activities within our schools.

Why is this Important?

Since the 1920’s and 1930’s when mass production became popular, consumers found less expensive products on store shelves. More people could now afford to buy these products. That was a wonderful thing, wasn’t it? Manufacturers discovered that they could keep the price low by using lower quality parts, which would then malfunction or become less desirable leading consumers to buy “new and improved” products.

Advertisers then began to train us, the consumer, to want these new and wonderful products. Well, just about the time we learn to use our new phone, computer tablet, or television set advertisers are trying to convince us that we can’t live without the bigger and better version!


So where did we toss all of our outdated, no-longer-working, no-longer-fashionable stuff? Most went into the trash can, which was then hauled to a landfill and covered over with dirt never to be thought of again…or so we thought.

In 2006, each American man, woman, and child produced on average 4.6 lbs. of garbage per day. Yes, per DAY. Landfills began filling up fast and new landfills were needed. The cost of extracting raw materials from deep inside the earth is very labor intensive and became very expensive. How long could we continue this process before depleting our natural resources?

Today many old landfills are being mined for recyclable materials, particularly metals. We finally realized that we have been throwing away materials that could be used again and again with less cost and a gentler impact on our environment.

So Why Target Students?

What better place to start than teaching our children the importance of protecting our environment through responsible use of our natural resources? Young children have open hearts and open minds and are willing to listen to the information provided without preconceived ideas, and before bad habits have become a way of life. If we are going to impact our children through education, it is important that school administrators and leaders understand and support these lessons.

KALB is a wonderful resource to our schools and to individual teachers. It is our hope that we will continue to have a positive impact on our local and global environment by providing knowledge through educational programs.

We welcome any teacher or school administrator to contact us for more information on how we can be of service.
By: Lynne Hart


September and October are going to be very, VERY busy for KALB and we are so excited! This is one of our favorite times of the year because we get to spend so much time out in the community. Here’s what we have coming up!

Art on the Square – 9/8

KALB will have a presence at this event encouraging visitors to use the recycling containers and trash cans. Oh, and yes we will be enjoying the beautiful art and working hard to get our ducks adopted for our Wacky Quacky Ducky Derby!

Duck and Run 5K Race and Fun Run – 9/15

Registration is open for runners and walkers who would like to support KALB while enjoying a mildly challenging race. Visit our website for details or to register online. Registration is also available through This race is always fun with some great prizes!

Athens Grease Festival – 9/29

We can’t wait to be part of Athens’ first Grease Festival! Come on, we all know it’s best to eat healthy, but we have to give in to our craving for some good ole’ deep fried goodies once in a while! KALB will be there promoting the FOG Collection and Recycling program. In an effort to keep Fats, Oils, and Grease out of your plumbing and the city’s sewer lines, the Athens Water Services Department and KALB have teamed up to create a FOG (Fats, Oils, and Grease) recycling collection. Containers will be handed out at the Grease Festival to be taken home and used to collect cooking oils, fats, and grease. Full containers can then be dropped off at strategically placed collection cages throughout the city and an empty container be taken home. The full containers will then be taken to the recycling center and sold to Limestone County farmers who will make biodiesel fuel for their farm vehicles! How cool is THAT?

Old Time Fiddler’s Convention – 10/5-6

Our staff and volunteers LOVE this event! Throughout this 2-day event, KALB staff and volunteers will be handing out litter bags, reminding attendees to use the recycling bins, servicing the food vendors to be sure their recycling bins don’t overflow, and managing the Boy Scouts that come to help pick up the litter that does find its way to the ground. The wonderful music and scrumptious food available make the whole event more fun than work.

Wacky Quacky Ducky Derby – 10/6

KALB’s signature fundraiser is our wacky rubber duck race with the McClary Ford $1,000 Grand Prize! This is a great way to support the work of our agency and have some fun, too. For a $5.00 donation to KALB, we will enter a specially-designed rubber duck in our race. For a $25.00 donation you will receive a Chick-fil-A Quack Pack of 6 ducks (1 free!) and a coupon for a Chick-fil-A sandwich. Volunteers will be at all of the events listed on this page and will have duck adoption certificates available. Visit our website for details and for on-line adoptions.

Our volunteers and staff work very, very hard all year long. Your support of these programs and events is always appreciated…by us and by future generations that benefit from the environmental education we provide today.
By: Lynne Hart

(256) 233-8728

Get ready…get set…GO to our website and register to be part of the 9th Annual Duck and Run 5K Race and Fun Run taking place on Saturday, September 15th to support the work of Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful! You can also register through

The Duck and Run 5K is a moderately challenging race through the streets of historic Athens, Alabama. Runners will pass antebellum homes, pass through the Courthouse Square, and enjoy refreshments and award presentations in the historic Athens Utilities Building which was built in 1906. This building was recently renovated and is now the Athens Visitors Center.

The first 25 runners to register for this race will have a rubber duck entered into the Wacky Quacky Ducky Derby which takes place on October 6th and offers a $1,000 grand prize sponsored by McClary Ford in Athens. This event also supports the work of Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful.

Pre-registration for the 5K is $15 and must be postmarked by 9/8/12. Race Day registration is $20. Fun Run registration is $10. A race form can be printed off the KALB website if you prefer not to register online.

Packet pickup and late registration will be on Friday, September 14th from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the KALB office located at 125 East Street — right behind Big Spring Memorial Park. Race Day registration will begin at 6:45 a.m. 5K Race will begin at 8:00 a.m. Fun Run begins at 9:00 a.m.

T-Shirts will be guaranteed to the first 200 registered runners. Awards and prizes will be presented. Must pre-register to guarantee size.

For more information on the race, please contact KALB at 256-233-8728 or email to

KALB appreciates our sponsors for this race: Fleet Feet, McClary Ford, Pepsi, Dub’s, Athens-Limestone Hospital, Advocare, Wilmer & Lee, P.A., Quizno’s and Bruegger’s Bagels. We appreciate these businesses supporting this fundraiser!

If you or your business would like to help sponsor this event, we would be pleased to add your name or logo to our race t-shirts, place any advertising you provide into the race bags, and provide recognition on all printed materials. Just give us a call!
By: Lynne Hart
(256) 233-8728


In today’s world, “What’s in it for me?” seems to be a frequent question.

One of my favorite quotes is from Senator Gaylord Nelson, the founder of Earth Day, who said, “The ultimate test of man’s conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.”

Our actions, more than our words, indicate whether we care about the condition of this planet when handed over to those future generations.

I believe that most people are caring and unselfish, and will do the right thing if given the necessary information. I still have hope for the goodness of the human race.

Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful has a mission and goal to provide environmental education and information to our community so everyone can make informed choices about their personal behaviors.

Here are a few ways that YOU can connect with the information you need:

Monthly e-Newsletters
Our e-Newsletters are an excellent way to receive up-to- date, local information on events, programs, and upcoming volunteer opportunities. Newsletters are brief with added links for additional information. Email addresses are protected, never sold or given away, and are only used for KALB business.

Facebook Page
KALB’s Facebook page – Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful – is a great source of quick, useful information. Our posts provide information in easy-to-swallow bites — and it is ALWAYS local and pertinent.

KALB also has a website dedicated to our entire organization, which includes information on our education programs, litter abatement activities, our Recycling Center, and Beautification Board. Here you can find details about our programs, find a list of what, where, and how to recycle, and seek out the many volunteer and sponsorship opportunities available through KALB.
We rely on Planet Earth to provide a great deal to us — food, water, fresh air, and more. Future generations are relying on us, people they’ve never met, to handle their planet with care and concern. Connect with KALB and we’ll help you do just that. (256) 233-8728
By: Lynne Hart