Guest commentary by Frances Ashcraft

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Items filling the dumpster include newspapers, plastic and cardboard. Dogs at play have already done their part, recycling a fallen branch.

Sad but true. Everything you see in this completely filled Panola County dumpster, except for the one styrofoam container in top right corner, would have been recycled if the dumpster were in Pamlico County, N.C.!
I had just spent nearly three weeks with Eight Days of Hope and Miss. United Methodist Disaster Relief in North Carolina, helping rebuild after Hurricane Irene and, most recently, the tornado that hit Peletier, N.C. on June 6.  The stark reality of the resources lost, and trashed for that matter, came crashing down as I rolled my dumpster to the curb upon returning to my beloved Panola County.  
Many citizens for decades now, myself included, have prayed, asked, and worked toward our county participating and benefiting from the resources of recycling.  Recycling would not only help preserve this great state for our children’s children, it would immediately benefit our county from the added revenue that would be reaped from recycling.
Times are tough! Batesville has even wisely elected to conserve by not sponsoring the 4th of July fireworks show.  Tough decision no doubt, yet wise in these tight economic times. Many of us have had to make tough, wise choices with our dwindling funds. So let’s reap the financial benefits of recycling and the benefits of reduced individual bills for waste management.
After all, we are the caretakers of this earth as God’s beloved children. Let’s step up and follow the lead of Batesville Elementary School which has been a part of various recycling efforts for over a decade. We recycle newspapers, paper, aluminum, ink cartridges, snack wrappers and a variety of other items.  
Let’s turn sad but true into “joy in everything” (James 1:2-4)…..including the joy of recycling!
(Frances “Sonshine” Ashcraft teaches at Batesville Elementary School and serves as a volunteer in numerous projects.)

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