The first of what is planned to be three recycling events focusing on young people was held Friday, and Jefferson County Judge Dutch King said he was "tickled to death" with the start of the program.

The first of what is planned to be three recycling events focusing on young people was held Friday, and Jefferson County Judge Dutch King said he was “tickled to death” with the start of the program.

“We’ve got to start somewhere and it’s particularly important to start with young kids and get them involved in helping to keep trash out of the ditches and off the streets,” King said.

Sponsored by King and the County Recycling Department, the event was held at Highland Baptist Church on West 13th Avenue where the Rev. Christopher Mack is the pastor.

“When they called me about this, I thought it was an excellent idea and we jumped on board,” Mack said. “Our goal is to help the city and its young people and we hope that this continues with other groups and churches getting involved.”

Mack’s church and others in the area passed out fliers promoting the event, which offered a free hot dog and all the trimmings to children who brought in two recyclable items such as paper, cardboard, plastic or metal.

“This was a good first event because it gave us an idea of what we could expect and also how to troubleshoot in the event something needed to be changed,” said Daniel Marks, the legislative assistant in King’s office who also is responsible for directing the county’s renewed efforts toward recycling.

“We’ve had kids show up and bring plenty of items to be recycled so the message got across,” Marks said.

Lynette Frazier, the special projects coordinator for Pine Bluff Mayor Debe Hollingsworth, represented the mayor at the event.

“Mayor Hollingsworth is all about recycling and city beautification so how could we not show up?” Frazier said. “It’s going to take all of us, not just one, working together to better the city, the county and the lives of young people.”

King said recycling education programs will be put in place in city and county schools this fall, and added that “we hope to be able to buy the equipment to take our recycling programs to the next level and have something we can all be proud of.”

The county plans to refurbish its warehouse located behind Pope Furniture off East Harding Avenue and convert it into a recycling drop-off site. Marks said that is expected to be complete by late August.

When the new site is opened, the Sheriff’s Department Clean Team, which has been working at the current recycling site at the county landfill, will move to the new location.

“Pine Bluff and White Hall are on board with us on this and we’re going to see how much good we can do,” King said.