WAYNESBORO, Pa. — Within 10 to 20 years, all three county landfills will be filled to capacity, according to Dan Wolfe, community planner and Franklin County recycling coordinator.
On Thursday night, Wolfe kicked off Renfrew Institute’s three-program series — “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Renew!” — with his lecture on “Solution to Pollution: Every Litter Bit Counts.”
The programs are free to the public and are held in the Visitors Center at Renfrew Museum & Park.
“Once they fill up, where are we going to put our trash?” Wolfe asked. “If you just start changing little things in your daily habits, you would make a big difference.”
Wolfe said there were approximately 50,000 people living in Franklin County in 1950, each making one pound of trash per day. In 2010, there were about 130,000 people living in Franklin County, each making four pounds of trash per day.
“That’s a half a million pounds of trash a day we’re putting into landfills from Franklin County alone,” Wolfe said.
Today’s society uses disposable products, including plastic bags, Styrofoam cups and disposable diapers, he said.
Wolfe said a plastic bottle stays in a landfill for at least 100 years before it biodegrades. It takes a plastic bag 20 years to biodegrade and disposable diapers last 450 years, he said.
Plastic can be recycled into other material such as pens and carpet.
“Less than 20 percent is all that we capture of what can be recycled,” Wolfe said.
Pat Savage of Rouzerville was one of about 20 people who attended Thursday’s lecture.
“I don’t think they should make it until they can figure out how to get rid of it,” Savage said. “We need to protect our precious Earth. It should be in balance, and we have put it out of balance.”
Former biology teacher Angela Rocks belongs to a social justice group that views taking care of the planet as a matter of social justice.
“I care a lot about the environment. If we love our land, we want to keep it in good shape, and you can’t keep adding waste to the landfills,” Rocks said.
The second lecture — a panel discussion with question-and-answer session on “How Can My Municipality Help Me Recycle?” — will be March 3 at 7 p.m. Panelists will be Michael Christopher, Washington Township manager; Jason Cohen, assistant manager of the Borough of Waynesboro; Tony Drury, recycling coordinator in Washington County; and Cheryl Shields, who works in community relations for Waste Management.
The third lecture — “Everything Old is New Again ... Making & Using Recycled Content Products” — will be March 31 at 7 p.m.
The lecture will be presented by Wayne Bowen, program manager of the Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center in Harrisburg, Pa.
The lecture series is underwritten in part by Charles and Undine Warner, formerly of Waynesboro, and by Today’s Horizon Fund contributors PenMar Development Corp., the Nora Roberts Foundation and an anonymous donor.
Parking is available behind the visitors center or in Renfrew’s lower lot off Welty Road. For more information, go to www.renfrewinstitute.org or call 717-762-0373.