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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2007
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The recycling center on Central Parkway is the only one in the city that takes cardboard.
Daily photo by Bayne Hughes
The recycling center on Central Parkway is the only one in the city that takes cardboard.

HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT
Misuse creates eyesore at recycling center

By Bayne Hughes
hughes@decaturdaily.com · 340-2432

City leaders placed the recycling center on Central Parkway Southwest so residents could do their part to free landfill space, but the site often looks like a landfill.

Boxes, a recliner, a dresser, limbs and bags of leaves clutter the area near Wilson Morgan Park.

Emptied twice a week

Emily Johnson, recycling director, said Allied Waste empties the containers twice a week and then a city worker cleans the area. That’s not enough. She said she is looking at adding a third pickup day and/or more bins to see if that solves the problem.

Johnson said the city doesn’t have the same problem at other recycling centers. Although the rules are displayed prominently, people violate them.

This is the only center that takes cardboard. Sometimes businesses illegally dump cardboard boxes, rather than pay for recycling.

“This is supposed to be for residential use only,” Johnson said.

Johnson said people also dump furniture at the site, which isn’t necessary because they can place those items on the curb and the city will collect them.

“I guess they just want to get them out of their yard,” Johnson said.

The center is a quandary for city leaders.

Mayor Don Kyle said it’s obvious that citizens use it, and everyone benefits when less garbage goes into the landfill. He doesn’t like it being an eyesore, however, he doesn’t have a solution.

The center is in City Councilman Ronny Russell’s District 4. He said he doesn’t like the location near a city attraction, which is Wilson Morgan Park and its walking trail.

Because it is not too close to residents, he rarely hears complaints.

“I wish we had somewhere we could put it,” Russell said.

“I thought about putting up a fence around it, but then people might not realize that it’s there.”

Kyle said he would like to move it to another area, too, but he does not know where.

Hiding in plain sight

Let us know if you’re tired of seeing a dilapidated building, litter, a drainage problem or an eyesore in your neighborhood. Contact The Daily newsroom at 340-2433 or news@decaturdaily.com.

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