Recycling is important to a growing city



In the mid-1990s, the City of Oneonta had a recycling program where recycling
was picked up at the home of the citizen. Recently, the recyclying effort
consists of a large, green dumpster placed in the Oneonta Public Library parking
lot, where patrons were expected to place their recyclable items inside of
the dumpster, to be collected periodically. As noted in the recent The Blount
Countian article, “Recycle program comes to a halt (and may end),” the recycling
program will possibly come to an end because there are those in our city
who have made poor use of this facility. However, to end this program would
put a halt to the progress that we, as a city, are making.

A recycling program is a vital part of a growing city, as can be seen by several
of our surrounding cities. Gadsden offers a similar program to that of
Oneonta, with one exception: there is an assistant onsite for eight hours a day,
Monday through Friday. One might say that this will make no difference for
those who pitch unwanted waste at recycling facilities, but I disagree. If the
recycling bin is placed in an enclosed area with an attendant and posted
hours, it will become more difficult and less appealing for those who desire to
leave rubbish. Currently, the program provided by Allied Waste, is free. Thus,
the one cost would be of two part-time attendants stationed at the recycling
site. This would also allow for the elderly and handicapped in our community
to recycle, because there would be an attendant to help unload the recycling.

Other surrounding cities have a variety of recycling options. The cities of
Vestavia Hills, Mountain Brook, and Homewood offer recycling services similar
to their trash services, meaning that recycling is placed in a bin outside of one’s
home and is retrieved by a collection company. Service at an individual residence
would be a cost to the homeowner, similar to trash retrieval. This is a
possible option to keep people from poorly disposing of garbage, because the
service is not free.

The city of Homewood’s website states, “When even one person recycles, we
all win.” Recycling is not only important to the environment, but also to a
growing and forward-thinking community. To recycle in one’s community is to
say that the future of that community is of importance. By letting our recycling
program fall to the wayside because of ne’er do wells, we are saying that
we will continue to pass up great opportunities for our city because of the bad
behavior of a few.

Anna Goode, Oneonta