Recycling dominates big year for KAB
by LUCIE R. WILLSIE, Associate Editor
Jan 02, 2013 | 1242 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
JOANNE MASKEW is the executive director of the local Keep America Beautiful organization. The KAB office is located at the Public Works Department building at 474 Second St. S.E. Banner photo, LUCIE R. WILLSIE
JOANNE MASKEW is the executive director of the local Keep America Beautiful organization. The KAB office is located at the Public Works Department building at 474 Second St. S.E. Banner photo, LUCIE R. WILLSIE
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Recycling, cleaning up the environment and beautifying the landscape are the main goals of Keep America Beautiful.

In 2012, KAB launched a successful new yard sale fundraiser — rather than its traditional independent flea market — that made more than $1,000 for the organization. Donated items were accepted from KAB members, the public and organizations. No vendors were at the event, which also featured a silent auction.

“It went real well,” said Shari Horton, vice president of KAB. “We’ve sold a lot of things. The money goes for the education programs.”

And, after the possibility of only being able to hold a Household Hazardous Waste Collection event just once, KAB partnered with the Bradley County mayor’s office to hold two.

“This is a huge milestone for the community,” said Joanne Maskew, executive director for the Cleveland/Bradley KAB for the past 12 years. “We had no idea this program would grow and expand like it has."

The annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day will be held again from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Tri-State Exhibition Center on March 2.

KAB also provides environmental education to area schools, offering a recycling contest every year, titled “America’s Recycle Challenge,” in which area students compete for top honors by collecting the most recyclable goods.

This year’s first place winner was Cleveland High School and the 35 Environmental Club members in Jeannie Cuervo’s class, which won a pizza party. The second place winner was Cleveland Middle School. And, Valley View Elementary School, which came in third, won a cupcake party.

“Our kids are doing an amazing job,” Maskew said.

In the competition, Cleveland High School collected 3,149 pounds of recyclables; Cleveland Middle School gathered 1,915 pounds; and Valley View Elementary collected 1,868 pounds.

A total of 13,428 pounds of material was diverted from the Bradley County Landfill through students’ efforts. Figures were compiled by Debbie Millard, operations clerk and Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability champion for the local Coca-Cola facility as well as a KAB board member. Millard is the liaison of the recycling operations with the community.

KAB also involves area students directly with the growing process by providing them with a planting project every year. This year, classes had the chance to plant zinnia flowers. Middle school classes were part of a rain barrel painting contest, while high school students were able to enter an environmental essay contest.

Business Beautification Awards are given once a month to local businesses from across Bradley County. This year, some of the businesses that earned this award were: Super Saver on Georgetown Road and Harting, Bishop & Arrendale on Williams Way, KOA on Pleasant Grove Road, Bradley Rental, Southern Hospitality on Fillauer Lake Road, the Coca-Cola plant, Chick-fil-A, the Hiwasse Mental Health Center and the Spring Creek Development on APD 40.

The first Business Beautification Award will go to Caldwell Paving in Charleston for January.

A White Glove award also is given out to businesses that exemplify excellence in their commitment to the environment. Some of this year’s White Glove winners were: the Olin Arch Community Advisory Panel, the Trousdale School, the Long-Term Recovery Organization, and Procter & Gamble-Duracell.

KAB also takes part in the MainStreet Cruise-In, the Halloween Block Party, Make a Difference Day, the Spring and Fall Great American Cleanup, the Greenway Cleanup and the Shade Tree Board, as well as offering an annual pancake breakfast as one of its fundraisers. This year the fundraiser is planned for Aubrey’s restaurant sometime in either March or April.

As a special honor this year, KAB planted a tree marked by a memorial plaque along the Greenway in memory of board member Cheryl Dunson's father, Peter Green, who died in January 2012.

To further recognize KAB’s achievements, several winners of KAB awards were acknowledged at its annual awards breakfast for their contribution in helping to improve the area. It was held at the Cleveland-Bradley Chamber of Commerce.

The annual Solid Waste Breakfast will be held at 7:30 a.m. on March 1 at the Chamber. The speaker will be Sarah K. Dean, environmental and regulatory compliance-SES at Mars Chocolate North America LLC. Many awards, including the yearly Volunteer of the Year Award, will be presented.

The Business of the Year award winner must “be a business that has stepped forward and made a positive difference in our community,” Maskew said. The business must meet two of three requirements: be located in Cleveland/Bradley County; be committed to protecting the environment; and have a vision to recycle vacated property to enhance beautification. The KAB Business of the Year this year was Cleveland Utilities.

KAB also promotes various community projects to help area residents, such as assisting elderly with cleaning up their properties, picking up trash in the streets, and helping with the upkeep of the two local community gardens.

“This program is here to serve the people of this community,” she said. “That’s what we need them to know more than anything else.”

Area residents can also call the KAB litter, noise and illegal dumping hotline at 559-3307 to report related issues.

The current KAB board of directors for 2011-12 also was installed. Officers of the board include Shari Horton, president; Shane Lawson, vice president; Jennifer Norton, secretary and director of The Greenway Table; and Diane Neely, treasurer. Other board members include Tony Dietz, Gary Farlow, Bondy Hackett, Philip Jacobs, Shane Lawson, County Commissioner J. Adam Lowe, Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland and Evie West, public information officer with the Cleveland Police Department.

Maskew invites anyone interested in volunteering for a board or committee, working on the education committee or assisting on fundraisers to contact her.

KAB’s next board meeting will be held at 4 p.m. Jan. 23 at the Chamber.

The KAB office is located at the Public Works Department building at 474 Second St. S.E. She can be reached by phone at 559-3307, by fax at 559-9789. However, KAB now has a new email address: jmaskew@cityofclevelandtn.com.