Selma Recycles to continue

Published 9:41 pm Thursday, January 25, 2018

By Adam Dodson | The Selma Times-Journal

Caleb Smith and his mother, Crystal, look to continue their success with their Selma Recycles program after gaining momentum with their first round of recycling.

Selma Recycles aims to provide city residents with a way to dispose of their plastic in a responsible manner. The initiative is made possible by a grant received from Disney and Youth Services of America.

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The first round of Selma Recycles was focused largely on getting the word outabout their cause and educating the residents. However, Caleb and his mother said the positive response they received from the community was an unexpected, pleasant surprise.

In January, Selma Recycles collected 340 pounds of recyclable plastic from the two donation days. They also had 30 people volunteer to help go door-to-door or to help collect plastic on the drop-off days. Caleb has been the recipient of the “Citizen of the Year” award given out at the annual MLK Unity Breakfast and has been recognized by the Selma City Council for his work in the community.

“I am very proud of myself and of the community,” Caleb said. “The overwhelming response was very unexpected. I did not think the community would react how they did, but it has been awesome.”

Moving forward, the Smiths said they have much of the same events planned for February, but want to have a larger influence. After receiving the positive feedback from the community, Crystal said they wanted to expand their efforts.

In addition to accepting plastic, the next round of drop-off dates will take in cardboard.

This will help city residents dispose of unwanted material and gives Selma Recycles an opportunity to better the environment.

Crystal also said the door-to-door campaigns will focus on a larger, more personal area, rather than just going to every door in Ward 3 as they did the first time. This time, Crystal says, everyone will “take time in their own area” instead of making them go to a specific ward.

The drop off dates next month are scheduled for Feb. 11 and Feb. 25. A date has not yet been set for the door-to-door campaign, but Crystal believes it will be in early February before the two drop-off dates.

Along with the volunteers from the last campaign, educational leaders are getting involved as well. Multiple teachers have expressed their desire to start a service project with Selma Recycles.

The School of Discovery, Caleb’s school, will continue to keep bins in the hallways to help his cause.

As a partner in the recycling initiative, Crystal is proud of the work they have accomplished. However, as a mother, Crystal is overjoyed by the commitment her son has shown to the community.

“As a mother, I am very proud of how my son has been able to step outside his comfort zone. He is willing to push back his fears because he knows it is an important cause,” said Crystal. “Everybody was positive about Selma Recycles. We can’t wait to continue.”

The Smiths say they plan on finding ways to raise more money, continuing to use the money they received from the grant. Although the community has responded well, Crystal emphasizes the need for more volunteers.

It is also strongly encouraged to drop off the recyclables in the appropriate bin, and to not bring trash to dispose of.

For those interested in volunteering for Selma Recycles or who wish to receive more information regarding the program, visit their Facebook page at “Selma Recycles.”