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Area improving 45 years after Earth Day began

Earth Day is officially 45 years old. Since its inception, several major significant environmental changes have taken place across America. Idaho participated in several of those changes. The most well known in Idaho Falls is the development of the green way.

“We appreciate why we’re here, we’re here because we love the environment, we love the outdoors,” said Flint Hall of the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). “What’s made a difference here in (the) Idaho Falls area is we recognized that.”

Other changes include developing the Snake River Landing commercial area out of an old industrial gravel pit and making an old landfill into what is now Freeman Park. “Before we had significant environmental issues, we’ve taken care of that,” said Hall.

Other successes include the management of local landfills. “Every open pit used to be a place where you threw garbage,” said Hall. “That doesn’t happen anymore.”

The DEQ said that while east Idaho has made big strides, there are still places where we could improve. “One of those areas is recycling,” said Kerri Martin of the DEQ. “It’s improved greatly over the past few years, but we still have a ways to go.”

A lot of cities in the region don’t provide curbside recycling, but there are several companies such as Western Recycling that provide the service for a few dollars a month. Pacific Steel and Recycling provides a drive-thru service in which you can drop off a variety of items.

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