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Veliotis to be honored on TV show
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Carol Veliotis, executive board member of Keep Covington/Newton Beautiful and member of the Southern Heartland Art Gallery, said people who know her call her a "recycling Nazi."

Veliotis will be featured next month on WSB-TV's weekend segment "Going Green Champion" for her efforts to raise awareness about recycling and taking care of the environment.

WSB Local Program Producer Melissa Wright said the channel features a different person in the greater metro Atlanta area every week. "We try to get everyday people who are trying to help their environment in their own way," Wright said.

Wright explained e-mail nominations for individuals to be featured are reviewed by producers.

"We thought Carol had a very interesting write up on her," Wright said.

Karen Key, KCNB administrator, nominated Veliotis for her devotion to recycling.

"I was really flattered when Karen nominated me," Veliotis said, "and she said 'don't count on winning because they have hundreds of applicants.'"

Key said she thought to nominate her after Veliotis called her to ask for 24 of anything she could use for her 24 students to make projects out of at Southern Heartland's children's summer art camp.

Key offered 24 empty plastic tennis ball containers. Veliotis had the children colorfully decorate the containers and place uncooked rice in them to make rain-sticks.

"So I thought, 'by gosh, I'm going to nominate her for 'Going Green,'" Key said.

Wright said when WSB producers contacted Veliotis for an initial off-camera interview, they were impressed by her extensive resume and decided to feature her in an upcoming segment.

Veliotis constantly makes art from what others may consider trash. Ladies clamor for her vividly colored jewelry made from wooden beads and tiny strips of magazine paper. The gallery currently houses a mirror she framed with keys, key chains and other things bound for the dumpster.

She also participated in Emory University's art from recyclable's program for two years, organized projects made from recycled material for this summer's children's art camp and coordinated and judged the first "Trash to Treasure" competition - a county-wide competition for all students to make art from recyclables.

Veliotis also has lent her artistic ability to KCNB by designing the poster for the "Let's Go Topless" recycling campaign, which informs county residents to take the caps off of their plastic bottles before recycling them.

"It just makes her sick to see somebody throw a plastic bottle or other recyclable thing in the trash," Key said.

Wednesday, Veliotis invited a WSB-TV crew to see what two months worth of recycling looks like scattered in her driveway before loading it into her van and taking it to the Turner Street Recycling Center. At that center residents can choose the school, church or other non-profit organization to have the money generated from their recyclables donated to it.

"She is the recycling queen of Covington," Key said.

Veliotis started the recycling program at Southern Heartland Art Gallery, participated in the 2006 Governor's Litter Summit, picked up roadside litter with "On the Roads with Jesus" this spring, showed children how to decorate canvas shopping totes at Covington's first Global Warming Summit, recycled old Christmas trees and planted the saplings, as well as donated recycling money to the Girl Scouts, the Literacy Center, her church and the gallery.

She helps KCNB with all education fundraisers and has designed its Christmas float for the past three years

She said she also picks up litter on her street daily, buys recycled products or products in recycled packaging and participates annually in the Newton County Litter Index.

"All recycling helps the earth," Veliotis said. "It keeps stuff out of landfills and keeps the water cleaner."