‘Stop Me If You Have Heard This Before . . .’

Readers have grown accustomed to reading about Keep Alliance Beautiful and related topics in this space from the viewpoint of Jessica Hare. I am picking up where she left off with this column. I appreciate the information she passed along and her inspiring work with local youth while at KAB.

The KAB Recycling Center is my day job with the organization. I started working there late this past spring on the second shift. We coordinate and handle all the materials the citizens of Alliance and the surrounding area recycle. Though I am often part of a two-person crew retrieving cardboard from area businesses, a typical day may include unloading a horse trailer full of materials from a Sandhills ranch, picking up and emptying a trailer or helping someone shred documents.Part of my perspective comes from this still new job where I am the newest addition to a now six-person team which has continued to grow in response to Alliance’s amazing recycling output. We like to help the public utilize KAB’s resources and let them know visitors are always welcome during our hours of operation from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Otherwise, I have been a dedicated recycler for years and coordinate a twice yearly highway cleanup as part of my history of keeping Alliance beautiful. I began recycling while living in the country. The trailers at the Alliance Plaza were a destination every couple weeks as bags and boxes filled the back of my car. Loads varied over time as I lived by myself, then with my brother and his family. I have seen the materials accepted gradually increase in type and number. Recycling makes me feel like I’m making a difference, even if it’s a small one.

Now, I have a family of my own. My wife Misty is a teacher at Grandview Elementary where our daughter also attends school. Our son started kindergarten at Emerson this year. Our kids love creating “upcycled” inventions. We strive to be as “green” as possible. We often cycle to the workplace. A compost pile has been another way to reduce our amount of trash in the dumpster in recent years. I still coordinate the recycling and prefer to use the trailers rather than bring everything to work.

My background is in journalism. I reported on KAB numerous times through the years I spent with the Alliance Times-Herald. The organization has added new services that made headlines, such as curbside recycling.

Now I’m proud to join KAB in informing and educating on a subject about which I am passionate. I realize that some of the topics in this space may be familiar to faithful readers. I hope to share my own perspective on the need for recycling in a world covered in trash.