ArkLaTex environmental groups discuss importance of recycling on Earth Day

Updated: Apr. 22, 2021 at 7:23 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Thursday, April 22, marks Earth Day, a day when people show their support for environmental protection.

A common theme for Earth Day: recycling. However, the Shreveport-Bossier City area has faced several obstacles over the years in regard to that issue.

Last year, Pratt Industries, the company that recycled the materials in Shreveport, closed. About the same time, the city’s contract with Republic, the company that collects the recyclables, ended.

On the city’s website, it still says its “recycling program has temporarily been suspended,” meaning all recyclables are going to a landfill.

“I believe it’ll come back,” said Casaundra Calloway, Shreveport Green’s Neighborhood & Education Program coordinator. “Until it does, we can do recycling at home ourselves.”

She said the best way to help the Earth, however, is to initially reduce waste.

“Just don’t buy so much stuff if you don’t need it, because then we have to worry about getting rid of it,” said Calloway.

“In solid waste, we are working to purchase more trucks,” Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins said during a City Council meeting. “We have 12 additional trucks on order that the council already passed in our budget; but because of COVID, those trucks are backed up six to eight months.”

Just across the bridge, Bossier City officials modified the recycling center hours earlier this month due to “illegal dumping.”

“The facility is no longer open for drive-through services after hours or on weekends. The change in hours, along with the construction of a fence, was done to prevent illegal dumping that had been occurring at the center.”

Neither city has curbside recycling available.

With this year’s Earth Day theme of “restore the earth,” environmentalists said it’s important to teach our younger generations how to do their part to preserve the earth.

“They’re the ones who will be left to preserve and fix our environment,” said Lynn Bryan, executive director of Keep Bossier Beautiful.

In front of about 100 students, her organization planted a tree at Bossier Elementary School on Thursday.

Over in Shreveport, McKinney Byrd Academy is the only “green” school in Shreveport, according to Frankie Edwards, the director of education. “We teach them at an early age to take care of their Earth and their environment so it can be around a long time for them.”

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