Everyone needs to do their part in recycling effort

Published 8:00 pm Sunday, February 17, 2013

Recycling has come a long way in a few short months in Brookhaven.

The program that started last July with a couple of centrally located bins at the fire stations has become a model curbside recycling effort. Drive down any residential street on the first garbage pickup day each week and you’ll see the blue Waste Pro tubs filled with recyclables sitting along curbsides at nearly every home

The program’s success and popularity in a little over a half of a year is heartening, but there are some hurdles to overcome.

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Waste Pro reports that some citizens are bagging their recyclables. All recycled items should be placed loose inside the bins. The bagged items require extra handling.

Another problem has surfaced with the bulk bins located at the fire stations. The city had to remove the depository at the Central Fire Station after trash, including animal carcasses, was dumped at the site. As a result, the city has relocated the Central Fire Station bin to the Willard Street Fire Station.

We hope the city’s lone remaining drop-off site won’t be subjected to abuse, since the availability of a bulk depository allows citizens to recycle even more than one household bin’s worth of items each week. It also provides a great place for residents to bring recycling after doing some spring-cleaning and reorganizing.

Despite some obstacles that have had to be overcome, Brookhaven’s fledgling recycling program is off to a strong start. The city’s efforts even earned recognition as the 2012 Local Government Recycler of the Year from the Department of Environmental Quality.

In handing out the award in January, DEQ’s Mark Williams told city officials, “You’re well on your way to having one of the best programs in the state.”

City officials are to be commended for establishing the program, and the citizens who are using it deserve a pat on the back as well. A recycling program only works as long as we participate, and it looks like we’re doing our part and just need to fine-tune our efforts here and there.