Archive for Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Recycling choice

After considerable study, the city appears to be zeroing in on a good option to provide curbside recycling services.

February 2, 2010


A public-private plan is the best way for Lawrence to try to increase curbside recycling in the city.

City officials have taken a comprehensive look at many options for curbside recycling and collected information on how a number of other communities have handled the issue. Tonight, city commissioners will consider a recommendation from the city’s Sustainability Advisory Board to implement a public-private pilot program to try to increase local curbside recycling.

Recycling services still would be provided by private companies, but the city would step in to register and promote those services to local residents through a “Lawrence DOES have curbside” outreach campaign. Part of the campaign would be to provide information about private recycling companies that have registered with the city. Companies that register would have to provide information about their services and how they handle the materials they pick up, giving the city modest oversight of their operations.

The plan has several advantages over a city-operated service. Residents who want a curbside recycling service can choose one that suits their needs. Those who choose not to recycle or to take their own materials to recycling centers wouldn’t have to pay for a service they didn’t use. And taxpayers won’t have to take responsibility for a service that already is being handled quite nicely by private enterprise.

The city has a stake in encouraging people to recycle because the more they recycle, the less trash goes into the city landfill. The public-private partnership is a great way to encourage recycling efforts in the city while supporting private services and the residents who choose to use them.


Mark Zwahl 8 years, 2 months ago

This looks good on paper, and perhaps as a political decision it is. But practically, it's silly. Between my 2 stores and my home, It costs me $82 a month to recycle - nearly $1000 a year. My neighbors and competitors don't have this cost. If the city wants to spend my tax dollars, they should reimburse us or reduce the trash rates for those of us not using THAT service. Let's just cut to the chase and do this right. And BTW, "handled quite nicely" isn't really defined. Having recycling trucks all zig-zagging across town covering the same territory - wasteful and costly.

Robert Rauktis 8 years, 2 months ago

The conundrum of recycling is that it essentially works only if economies are in high consumptive gear. Or fuel energy is spent getting the waste to China or wherever. Otherwise, it sits in a city warehouse, a more expensive proposition than the land fill. Like giving to charity on Christmas Day. It assuages guilt without requiring notable change in consumptive or spending habits.

A lot of people and the planet cringes. The natural resource pie gets thinner and the waste bucket gets bigger, no matter how you spin consumption.

People should go back and read "The Population Bomb" by KU's Ehrlich.

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 2 months ago

What will be the dollar cost to my family for city government to "register and promote those services"?

And what cost will we all bear once city government takes the inevitable step of forcing private recycling firms out of business in favor of a government-run program?

Centerville 8 years, 2 months ago

"Those who choose not to recycle or to take their own materials to recycling centers wouldn’t have to pay for a service they didn’t use." Because Lawrence is a fledgling nanny state, I'd have to see this printed in the contract before I'll believe it.

cowboy 8 years, 2 months ago

I would bet you that those recycling containers will show up as a line item on your water bill , any one wanna bet ?

cozy 8 years, 2 months ago

I know someone who was given a brand new trashcan today that had their house number written on it, it came out of nowhere. No one else except one person way down the street (that is not a rental) seems to have been given the same new trashcan. Does anyone know anything about this? They are taking it as an insult....How else would you take it?!

Centerville 8 years, 2 months ago

Are we trying to hold down the cost of trash collection or are we trying "to increase curbside recycling?" The two are mutually exclusive.

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