Passion needs to return to our recycling efforts

All of us need to pitch in and do better.

Area residents likely take the recycling center here for granted. I know I do. But, there are some issues there that need to be addressed by all of us, and at the core of it all is passion.
        In order for our recycling center to remain a viable, and affordable service, we all have to do our part. That means being more responsible with what we take to the center to be recycled, and making the effort to recycle more than we have been.
    I had an enlightening visit with Larissa Binod this week, a woman from Kimball who is at the top of the list of people I’d consider “passionate” about recycling. She works with the Western Resources Group in Ogallala and Keep Nebraska Beautiful. She spent some time here last month observing both our recycling center and the transfer station.
    Her major focus in her work is diversion of trash from the landfill. The best way to accomplish that? Education.
    There have been some big changes in the recycling world since the recycling center here opened in the early 1990s. Did you know there are 34 different types of materials now that can be recycled? There are seven categories for plastics alone. That makes it challenging for small communities to be able to recycle, then get the materials to market. These are challenges our leaders are facing and we need to do our part.
    We all could do better on sorting our recyclables at home, and our leaders need to be clearer on what the recycling center accepts and how it should be bundled or taken there. Look for more of that public education to come, as the city, county and Southwest Nebraska Solid Waste Agency Board work toward a better clarification of their duties.
    But none of us should have to be “educated” not to leave off bagged trash that has no recyclable content. You know, bags of trash with coffee grounds, leftover food and more. That’s happening at our recycling center and it must end. Those deciding to leave their trash at the recycling center instead of paying the fees to have it hauled to the transfer station are ruining a service many communities would love to have.
    There are reasons the Nebraska Dept. of Environmental Quality holds our recycling operation in high regard. Binod believes we are privileged here to have the recycling operation we do, because a lot of community leaders won’t spend the time on it.
    As the coming months unfold, watch for more education on recycling. We all can do better.


The Imperial Republican

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Imperial, NE 69033