Letters: Remember to recycle your old cookware

To the editor:

Don't know what to do with those old and unusable metal pots and pans? Recycle them.

Madison County is adding pots and pans to the list of voluntary recyclable items. Pots and pans can be placed at curbside along with recycled steel and aluminum cans, or recycled at the transfer stations.

Solid Waste Director James A. Zecca said that adding pots and pans to the other items recycled by the county will bring in additional revenue and keep these items out of the landfill.

Further, recycling pots and pans prevents raw materials from being extracted from the earth. All the common metals used to manufacture pots and pans are mined from the earth and are non-renewable natural resources.

Metal cookware is by no means the biggest culprit when it comes to mine-waste problems. However, taken together, the extraction and processing of all metals creates between 1 and 2 billion tons of mine waste annually, and has polluted more than 3,400 miles of streams and more than 440,000 acres of land. In 2004, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ranked the metal mining industry as the nation's worst toxic polluter.

After doing some research, Mr. Zecca found that other municipalities around the country have established extremely successful pot and pan recycling programs. He said recycling old cookware to prevent them from becoming waste is one of the most sustainable approaches to dealing with old cookware.

For questions or more information on the voluntary pots and pans recycling program call the recycling hot line at 800-721-2208.

Sharon A. Driscoll

Public Information Officer, Madison County

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