Letter to the editor: Flawed recycling

To the editor:

I’ve been a believer in efficient recycling since a kid cleaning the gutter in my grandparent’s barn and spreading the manure in the fields and crushing tin cans during WWII. But, when the city passed a residential curbside recycling ordinance in 2008, LeRoy Backhaus, myself, and many others said the ordinance was incomplete and flawed.

Some examples: The ordinance applies to only part of Vermillion. Single family and multi-family housing up to five units are required to pay a monthly fee whether they set recyclables out or not. This leaves our apartments over five units, mobile home parks, businesses, group homes, and more.

The effective date of the ordinance was Dec. 1, 2008, but the city did not start service until September 2009. The city violated its own ordinance for nine months. Who cares? Two points: There was no one on the council heady enough to change the effective date and does that mean we each can violate an ordinance for nine months? The entire city should have been phased in years ago.

Better yet, the recycling ordinance should have been single-stream with wheeled containers with lids that latch, can be manually or mechanically dumped and residential collection should be every other week.

The city has four satellite drop off trailers, but none in the Central Business District. Fifty percent of the drop off trailers have the wrong address on the official website of the city. Maybe city hall needs a few more assistants.

If people don’t speak up, government will run over us.

Paul Hasse


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One Response to Letter to the editor: Flawed recycling

  1. Lee says:

    Mr. Hasse’s letter about Vermillion’s flawed recycling program demonstrates the fundamental problem communities continue to experience when it comes to an efficient and effective program. Personal Responsibility! Too many individuals expect the government to solve, make convenient and fund the cost of recycling. Single Stream, while convenient, can be costly. Especially if a sorting facility is not near the collection point. Single Stream sorting facilities require huge volumes of recyclables to be successful. The number one recycling challenge is getting individuals to do their part to make it work and that often means being inconvenienced. There are four pillars to a solid program. 1. Reduce: Individuals and families need to reduce the amount of recyclables they generate. For example. Stop purchasing bottled water. Bottled water, while a huge money maker for merchants are a huge generator of recyclables that end up in our land-fills.
    2. Reuse: If you must purchase a bottle of water, then at least reuse the bottle several times before throwing it into a garbage or recycle bin.
    3. Recycle: How many of your vermillion businesses (gas stations) have garbage cans for their patrons but NO recycle bins? A recycle bin next to a garbage bin typically results in less recyclables in the landfill.
    4. Marketing: You must effectively, efficiently and continually market the recycle program. Local marketing. How many times has your Plain Talk editor talked about these four pillars of recycling in his opinion column? How many times has he even mentioned recycling?
    Recycling starts with the individual and ends with the individual. Time to step up and take some individual responsibility. Each person can make a small difference.

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