Thursday, June 11, 2009

Curbside Recycling

Talk about a controversial issue!

A number of people and organizations have been advocating a curbside recycling program for some time. The League of Women Voters of Wichita Falls has been lobbying for a curbside program since 1998. Last year, two young people (Samantha McMahen and Heather Vasquez) started a petition requesting the city begin a curbside recycling program and spoke to the City Council (as did I, representing the League). The room was full of interested citizens. I understand from Samantha she is getting ready to go back to deliver a stack of signed petitions to the Council--Samantha--let us know when you are going and we'll try to get the word out for support!

The city has an organics recycling program for items that can be made into compost. Recently, the City of Wichita Falls has started charging residents $3 per month to pick up organic waste in recycling (although I can throw it in my trash at no charge.) This past week in the Times Record News, there was an article that the organic recycling program is in danger due to residents placing non-compostible items such as plastic and aluminum cans in the organics container. I thought it was just ignorance among those using the containers, but someone at the Sierra Club meeting said that some had told her they were doing it as a form of protest. If they put other recyclable items in the compost bin, then the City would get the message that they should have a curbside recycling for aluminum cans and plastic. Unfortuately, that is not the message the Sanitation Department is getting.

Get a grip, people. Let's do this part right. We're diverting a large percentage of potential refuse from the landfill. We can continue to work on the rest. We don't want to go backwards on this.

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