Upcoming events and the benefits of recycling and composting in this issue of Curb Talk. 
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November 2016

A Message from Jane

This November 24, Americans will celebrate Thanksgiving, but why not take time every day of the year to give thanks for the things that make our lives happier and healthier? All creatures on Earth depend on healthy air, soil and water, so let’s be both thankful and mindful of how our everyday choices impact the basic building blocks of life.

Jane Hiller
Education Director, Sonoco Recycling

In This Issue

Recycling Saves Energy and Reduces Air Pollution
Composting Renews Soil, Reduces Methane and Protects Waterways
Upcoming Events

Recycling Saves Energy and Reduces Air Pollution

Most energy used in South Carolina comes from burning fossil fuels, which pollutes the air we breathe. Recycling household containers, like aluminum and steel cans, plastic containers and cardboard boxes, minimizes the energy needed to make these items from scratch. Approximately how much energy can we save?
  • Aluminum-95%
  • Steel-85%
  • Plastic-75%
  • Cardboard-65% 
November 15 is America Recycles Day, so if you are not currently recycling, learn how to “Recycle Right” at

Regarding energy savings, let’s all pledge to go easy on holiday lights this year. Why not switch to LED bulbs and recycle old holiday lights at a scrap metal dealer? Also, please do not put them in your recycling bin. They jam and break recycling machines, and there is nothing festive about that!

Composting Renews Soil, Reduces Green House Gas and Protects Waterways

Most soil in South Carolina is either clay or sand, and neither is ideal for growing crops. However, the organic scraps we produce in our kitchens (fruits and vegetables, NOT meat, oil, dairy, or sugar) and in our yards (grass, leaves, twigs, NOT dog/cat waste) can easily be turned into wonderful compost which can improve our native soils by adding nutrients and helping regulate water retention.
Composting also keeps organic waste out of landfills. Materials in landfills don’t get enough oxygen and water to decompose the way nature intended, so things biodegrade very slowly. How slowly? William Rathje and his archaeology students at the University of Arizona once found a hot dog with bun and mustard still intact wrapped in a 40-year-old newspaper that was still readable. Organics biodegrading without enough oxygen, produce methane gas, a greenhouse gas that forms a “warming blanket” in the atmosphere.
Why not start composting?

Just toss your post-prime pumpkin, cover with fall leaves and let nature make compost happen just in time for spring planting.
Or get a bin from your county:
Lexington County,, (803) 785-3340
Richland County,, (803) 576-2446
City of Columbia,, (803) 545-3803
The City of Columbia reminds us that composting can also keep loose clippings from clogging storm drains or being washed into local waterways.

Five Points Chili Cook-Off

Watch teams battle it out for Columbia's best chili! Enjoy more than 40 awesome chili entries, live music, a food truck rodeo, children’s area, craft beers, corn-hole games and more! 

Sustainable Midlands needs GREEN TEAM (recycling) volunteers for their fundraiser.

Date: November 12
Time: Noon-6:00 p.m.
Location: Greene Street & Pavilion Ave., Columbia

Pigs in the Park: Congaree National Park Feral Hog Management Program Update

Learn about the economic, ecological and health impacts of our local wild hog population.

Date: November 17
Time: 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Location: Tri-County Electric Cooperative
6437 Old State Road
St. Matthews

Keeping the Midlands Beautiful Nomination Deadline

Don’t miss the deadline to submit nominations for individuals, groups or businesses you feel embody the mission of Keeping the Midlands Beautiful. Awards will be presented at the annual “Gala for a Greener Midlands” on December 9. 

Deadline: November 17, Midnight

Monarchs, Milkweed, and Migration: A Middle School Expedition

Learn how middle school teachers are using the Monarch butterfly population decline to engage their students in their regular studies. 

Date: November 28,
Time: 4:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
Location: Irmo Middle School, 6051 Wescott Rd., Columbia 
Price: $5 cash at the door - Free for EEASC members (
Sonoco Recycling is a proud member of the Sonoco Family, a global provider of consumer packaging, industrial products, protective packaging and packaging supply chain services.
Copyright © 2016 Sonoco Recycling, All rights reserved.

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Sonoco Recycling is a proud member of the Sonoco Family, a global provider of consumer packaging, industrial products, protective packaging and packaging supply chain services.