Birmingham goes green by recycling tornado debris

Birmingham goes green by recycling tornado debris

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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Storm debris by the truckload is coming into the New Georgia Landfill. Soon a company called Southeast Renewables will sort through it all and recycle it.

"We will be one of the first cities in the country to recycle debris from a natural disaster," said councilor Johnathan Austin, a big "green" advocate. 

The company will be sorting through debris to find wood, plastic and metal, then it will be recycled and reused. 

"This is an example of how we can show the rest of the nation in the face of adversity you can do something in a positive way," said Michael Churchman, Executive Director of the Alabama Environmental Council. 

Mayor William Bell says the process is a win-win.  It comes at no extra cost to the city and will free up valuable space at the landfill. 

"The whole goal is two-fold," said Bell.  "One, to keep this material from going into our landfills and two, to set up a process that long-term we'll still have it in place after debris clean up."

Any money the city would have made off the recyclables will be given to FEMA, since FEMA is paying for most of the clean-up costs.  City leaders hope this can be a starting point for the future of recycling in Birmingham. 

"This is a jump start or a start to longevity and creating a foundation for recycling throughout our community," said Councilor Jay Roberson. 

The company will be able to sort through 100 tons of debris each day.  The hope is this will be completed in 90 to 120 days. 

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