Recycling is easy

By Kevin Gray

I still can’t believe it, but the recycling program L&K Services started in Paola is a cinch! Before I go on, I need to say, it really helps if you already do a little recycling at home. You know: paper products, plastic, cans and glass. This, we’ve been doing at our house in different ways for years since my weekly drives down to the Miami County Landfill and Transfer Station way back when.

Osawatomie’s City Council member Tamara Maichel asked on her Facebook wall, “What is your opinion on the city having a mandatory recycle program? One trash day will be for regular trash limiting the amount to be picked up, and the other day recyclables.”

When I saw the word “mandatory,” I thought, “Oh, no! A lot of grief will be flying her way.” But, most comments were positive. There were the “…mini-Olathe,” and the “…honestly, who has time to separate trash,” remarks and a few who think the city will tax them for this one. None of it true.

My initial urge had been to say, “It’s no big deal! It works, and it’s a breeze, taking no effort. Plus, it doesn’t cost you anything other than the cost of trash pickup already being paid out.” I held off at first choosing to read the 32 replies, by then a back and forth of 36 comments.

When the letter came in the mail one day from L&K Trash Services informing us of the changes in Paola, I, too, doubted the plan: trash pickup one day a week and recyclables the other. Even then, I knew we seldom had enough trash for Thursday pickups. We would receive a bin from L&K and were informed no yard waste accepted, nor glass (a safety issue).

I wasn’t sold, especially when the open-top bins were deposited in the alley behind our house. “Whoa,” I said. “Don’t they know this is Kansas?” So far, the wind has not created the trashed-out streetscapes I imagined. And, “No yard waste pickup? What?”

When Diane and I had first started recycling, I drove to the landfill, later to a truck on the north side of Paola, and, more recently, to two huge community bins in Wallace Park. But it wasn’t until we began using the Wallace Park bins that I realized how our trash can was not filling up. I had even begun setting the trash can out fewer Thursdays after the Monday trash pickup.

Once the L&K program began, we saw an even bigger difference. Any more, the trash can isn’t always full enough to even set out on Monday. Of course, the recycle bin is overflowing. A full week can pass, and the kitchen trash can is seldom filled enough to take out on Monday, even if adding contents from the bathrooms. Yet, when recycle Thursday comes around, our one bin fills to the brim, so much so we had to add a second bin.

The fun part of taking the recyclables out is being able to dump it all into the one or two bins, set them out on Thursday morning, and L&K takes it from there. When I’m heading to Osawatomie or running errands, I drop the glass off in Wallace Park. Doesn’t take much!

If you stop and think about the dividing out – no glass, no Styrofoam, no yard waste (more on the yard in a second) – then you only need two containers. One for the recycles and one for glass. Or if you have room, keep a bin in the house and carry out on recycle day. Set up what works best for you.

I wasn’t happy about yard waste not being picked up either, but then Paola set up a drop-off point at the city’s Public Works Department north of town. With a site for tree branches, the other for grass clippings, leaves and brush, I’m covered.

Thanks to L&K, a system we already had working has been made easier and even better. It’s so cool to realize how little from our household is being taken to a landfill.

For more specifics about Paola’s recycling program, visit Curbside Recycling at: http://www.cityofpaola.com/index.aspx?nid=298. Or check on L&K at http://www.lktrashservices.com/services/recycling-services.

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Posted by admin on Feb 23 2011. Filed under Kevin Gray, Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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