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    Speedway Offers Recycling at Pump

    Two college interns lead campaign to collect waste from cars at gas stations.

    LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Two interns at the Fayette County Division of Waste Management here launched a test recycling program at three area Speedway gas stations.

    According to Bizlex.com, county interns Natalie Cooke and Elizabeth Rebmond hatched the idea after filling up at a gas station and attempting to clean out the car while waiting, but having nowhere to properly dispose of recyclables.

    "We wanted to target gas stations and decided to start with Speedway. Elizabeth and I did a waste audit using the outdoor receptacles. After weighing the waste we collected, we found that 45 percent of it could be recycled," Cooke told Bizlex.com. Items such as plastic bottles, fast-food bags and containers, loose paper and cans comprised a large percentage of the garbage weighed.

    Cooke noted outside of the obvious environmental reasons, recycling saves the gas stations on dumpster disposal and waste removal fees. The city’s free recycling services also offer an escape from taxation, a point Cooke and Rebmond emphasized when presenting a comparative cost analysis to Bruce Whittaker, one of three Speedway district managers.

    "The girls approached me with the idea. We thought we could run it up the flagpole and see what kind of response it evokes," Whittaker told Bizlex.com. He also mentioned the program could eliminate the need for an extra dumpster lift each week at several locations.

    The program is currently in a trial phase, with recycling bins at three of 25 Speedway locations in the Lexington area: Winchester, Leestown and Boston Roads.

    Whittaker said the amount of recycling material collected has increased each week since the program’s implementation roughly one month ago. Should the program prove successful, there is the possibility that it could be put into operation at other local Speedway locations, according to the report.

    "It’s the right thing to do as a leader in the convenience store and retail industry," he said. "It’s the environment we’re talking about. I’m all for it."

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