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Beating the garbage truck

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Volunteer helps businesses recycle

By Kellie Parkin

Resident Willie Brown is making his own recycling initiative happen. He’s been visiting many Cedar Key businesses up to four times a week to pick up cardboard and transport it to the recycling trailer on 3rd Street.

“My wife and I have always recycled our stuff when the trailer was out at the laundry mat,” he said. “We just sort of fell into this.”

“Sometimes she helps me out, too,” Willie added.

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday Willie makes his run first thing in the morning ahead of Waste Pro. “I get up early to beat the garbage guys,” he said. “On Sundays I don’t have to.”

The businesses often separate the cardboard and break it down, at least partially. Sometimes, though, Willie picks through the garbage to get to the cardboard. “I eventually want to set this up so the businesses wont even put it in with their trash,” Willie said.

He picks up mostly cardboard, but if other things are separated out he’ll pick them up too.

His route runs all the way down Dock Street and also includes the 2nd Street Jiffy store, Annie’s Café, The Market, and other businesses as well.

Willie also spends time straightening the inside of the business recycling trailer so that more cardboard can fit. “We’re filling up the business trailer in a week,” he said proudly. “This time they brought us a bigger trailer.”

Upon learning about Willie’s volunteerism, Commissioner Pat O’Neal praised the community’s response to the conservation movement. “I think it’s a good idea,” he said. “I applaud our citizens’ initiative.”

Although O’Neal does not recycle, he said he does use energy efficient light bulbs in his home. “I probably should (recycle),” he added.