Despite distributing thousands of recycling guides that have been regularly featured in the Hi-Lites, Times Indicator and here in N3 AND a social media presence continually reminding folks of those guidelines…
Look, recycling is expensive. Without a partnership between the county and the Fremont Area Community Foundation the whole program would have died on the vine a few years ago but due to the commitment and collaboration of several entities recycling continues to exist.
And believe me it is being used big time. The bins located at the 5 Newaygo County sites get filled and emptied throughout the week. Trucks filled with recyclable material head to the Recycling Center in Kent County every couple of days and the result is tons of material that would normally be headed for the landfills being sorted and sent out to be repurposed.
But when this kind of thing happens, when people through malevolence or ignorance use the recycling sites as a dumping ground it hurts the program. With contamination perhaps the biggest way to turn recyclables into trash this behavior drives up the price and eventually puts Newaygo County recycling in peril.
Recycling is a good thing. Few would disagree with this (though truthfully these days some would disagree on the sum of 2+2) and few would question the need to make recycling as accessible as possible.
But trash tossing at the sites has led to restricted hours at some locales and could lead to the elimination of other sites should this problem persist.
And the reality remains that unless costs are contained and/or a sustainable funding source is established the program could very well become a thing of the past.
Check out the photos. This is blatant abuse of a system set up to make recycling easier for all of us. Those who are dumping their crap are either misinformed at an epic level or they know the rules and disregard them anyway. Either way they are taking down a program that helps all of us and ignoring their behavior will have people in the not too distant future lamenting the loss of the service.
So to those who engaged in this? Shame on you. Not that we believe you would be reading this of course, but maybe someone will read it to you.
As for the rest of us? We’re not asking folks to be the recycling police, but maye find a way to help make this kind of behavior akin to passing gas in an elevator.
Because it really stinks.