On Earth Day, 2016, the Citizen’s Environmental Commission of DeKalb and the DeKalb County Health Department initiated the Share-A- Bag program. The plan was to reduce plastic bag waste by installing 30- gallon bins filled with reusable bags at five establishments in DeKalb. This was an effort to support Goal 13 of the City of DeKalb’s Sustainability Plan, which promotes a zero-waste policy for the city. Residents were invited to take a bag, as needed, and to bring any extra bags they had to sustain a constant supply. Given the success of the program, Share-A- Bag bins were recently installed at five new establishments.
A new feature of the program is a handout available in the side pocket of each bin. The handout explains the sustainability value of decreasing plastic bag waste in the community. It states, that plastic bag production contributes to air pollution and energy consumption. It takes 1,000 years for plastic bags to break down, they do not biodegrade but contaminate soil and waterways. Also, approximately 1 billion seabirds and mammals die each year from ingesting plastic bags.
DeKalb residents are encouraged to participate in the effort to reduce plastic bag waste by utilizing a Share-A- Bag bin at the following locations: the DeKalb Public Library, the DeKalb County Health Department, Laundry Lounge, the Huskie Food pantry, Book World, Barb City Manor, Colonial House apartments, Lehan Pharmacy, the DeKalb Senior Center, and New Hope Missionary Baptist Church.
If you are interested in sponsoring a bin, please contact Michelle Gibson, Solid Waste Specialist at the DeKalb County Health Department, at 815-748- 2408 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
To learn more about the many programs and services of the Health Department, visit
health.dekalbcounty.org, or call (815)758-6673.