While County Thinks, Kalispell Finds Own Way To Recycle - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

While County Thinks, Kalispell Finds Own Way To Recycle

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KALISPELL -

While Flathead County continues to sort out its recycling program, Kalispell's Parks and Recreation Department is planning to sort its own recyclables soon.

Since 1996, Kalispell's Parks and Rec. has been offering an alternative to Flathead County's recycling system twice a year, completely staffed with volunteers. In that time, the Trees to Paper to Trees recycling drive has gathered more than a quarter of a million pounds of materials, translating into about twelve thousand dollars, all of which goes back to planting trees in the city.

"Each year it does x amount of dollars," said Mike Baker, the Director of Kalispell's Parks and Rec., "so three or four hundred dollars, but that's still three or four trees that wouldn't have been planted or as replacements and that's what these are. They are replacements for trees that have been cut down."

In recent years the city has had to cut down an unusually high number of trees because of Dutch Elm disease.

"It's an informational awareness type process, program that makes people aware that paper does come from trees and you have to cut trees down, but also you can recycle and put trees back in the ground," said Baker.

Recyclables are collected at the fairgrounds on September 28 between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Then, all the collected newspapers, magazines, aluminum cans, and cardboard, is taken to Pacific Recycling, where trash turns into cash, and then trees: at least fifty so far. For some, the cause is important enough to bypass the county's recycling opportunities.

"We do this in rain or shine..the people, what they do is they have a tendency to save their papers because--we have a lot of return customers and they know this paper drive is coming up," said Baker.

The fall drive is coming up; the next drive will be in the spring.

The drive is still looking for volunteers.

If that sounds like something you want to be a part of, you can either call Kalispell Parks and Recreation at 406.758.7718 or you can send an email to kpr@kalispell.com.

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