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THURSDAY, JUNE 9, 2005
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EDITORIAL

City needs to examine its recycling program

Decatur City Councilman Gary Hammon didn't get support for his idea that recycling is a waste of time and money, but he may have sparked much needed discussions about the program.

Mr. Hammon was the only council member to vote against applying for a $10,000 matching grant to help publicize the program that's been in place for 14 years.

Others then expressed concern about the program and whether the city should continue to contract with waste-hauler BFI or have the city begin its own pickup.

Whichever route the city eventually takes is going to require fundamental changes to revive the fervor for recycling.

Aesthetically, the program turns off some people.

Instead of plopping paper, plastic and cans into the open container and have it sit around for a week or so, people would enjoy having something as simple as a lid to shut.

What a mess when a filled container goes out to the street during rainy weather! Then, there is the wind that scatters paper products up and down the street.

When was the last time anyone from the city called to ask why you are not recycling? Nobody pushes recycling and they should.

Recycling is not a waste, but Decatur can vastly improve the ways it's done starting with the containers. Surely, technology has improved during the nearly decade and a half the city's had the program.

"It's a common assumption that we need to recycle, and I'm going, 'Why?' " Mr. Hammon asked rhetorically.

Then he gave the best answer possible to support recycling: It's ingrained in us.

And that's because Americans want to be good stewards of the environment.

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