East Dallas residents recycle. Overflowing receptacles for metal, glass and paper throughout the community and enthusiastic response to the City’s first recycling programs support that notion.

East Dallas shares close ties with Fair Park. In 1904, the founder of East Dallas, William Henry Gaston, donated the land where Texas held its 1936 centennial exposition.

East Dallas residents patronize the museums, music hall and the annual state fair and lead restoration efforts that during the last decade have propped up the park’s deteriorating buildings.

Now, East Dallas is a key factor in these two civic issues said to be critical to the City’s future.

From the ashes of a failed subscription recycling program, City officials and recycling proponents plan to present a new plan this month to City Council, with implementation scheduled by Oct. 1.

Meanwhile, City residents will vote Aug. 8 on a half-cent, one-year, sales tax proponents say represents our last chance to save Fair Park.

Both issues deserve our attention. We’re tired of looking at the cans and bottles spilling from recycling igloos, and it’s time to see Fair Park restored, privatized – or peacefully put to sleep.

But are the existing proposals realistic?

Some East Dallasites say City Hall doesn’t really care about recycling, as long as cheap Texas landfill is available. And they say we should find money for police, firefighters and libraries before we pay to restore Fair Park.

In the end, even though the people of Dallas as a whole will decide whether recycling and Fair Park survive, the people of East Dallas will contend with the outcome for years to come.

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