Community Spotlight: Meet Laura Zhiss

Since Laura Zhiss and her family moved to Smyrna from Mableton almost a year and a half ago, they’ve been bringing their recycling to the Smyrna Recycling Center. They recycle because, she says, “As a parent, I’m getting worried about the future of the planet for my kids.”

And in fact, recycling does make a difference. It reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills. This causes a reduction in the amount of methane–a greenhouse gas–emitted into the atmosphere. Recycling also conserves natural resources and prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials.

Laura, who owns her own logistics company, and her husband Peter have three sons, Max (13), Ben (10), and Sam (8). Toward the end of last year, she signed up for a tour at the Smyrna Recycling Center with her son Sam.

“I came to the tour because I realized we were all so confused,” says Laura. After the tour, she better understood what to put curbside, what to put in a Hefty EnergyBag, and what she should bring to the Smyrna Recycling Center. She has since reorganized how they collect trash and recycling and sometimes quizzes her kids on what goes where.

She half-jokes, “Parents should bring their kids to the Recycling Center, so us parents don’t always have to re-sort the recycling!”

Laura wants Smyrna residents to come to the tour and ask questions. “People don’t always believe you actually recycle this stuff,” she says. She thinks people will be pleasantly surprised to learn that the materials really are recycled and end up going to real companies that need the materials, such as carpet manufacturers in Dalton, Georgia.

Recycling Center Tours are held the third Friday of the month from 9am to 10am, except April when it will be held the fourth Friday of the month. Reserve your spot at an upcoming tour.

By: Eloise Holland, published 2.22.2022

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