Those of us who have not received curbside recycling need to let our City Council representatives know we are tired of waiting for it.
Hopefully this column will inspire you to write a letter and voice your opinion. Even though Sanitation District 4 residents receive curbside pickup, you waited a long time for it and your letters also are needed.
Last year, the City developed a plan detailing when each sanitation district would receive curbside pickup. District 5, which includes part of East Dallas, is scheduled to receive it in 1996. The plan calls for adding new districts as recycling trucks are purchased because it isn’t economically feasible to acquire numerous trucks at once.
However, the new curbside pickup program, alive and well in District 4, is not using special recycling trucks. Blue bags containing recyclables are picked up by the same trucks that collect garbage. The collections occur on the same day, but at different times.
Since all citizens of Dallas pay the same sanitation fee with their Water Utilities bill, it seems unfair that only a portion of the City receives curbside pickup. We all pay, and we should all have curbside recycling. It also does not make sense to incorporate each district on a “phased-in” schedule since existing trucks are used.
Educating the public each time a district is added will create additional expenses that can be avoided if a Citywide curbside pickup program is initiated.
One approach to consider is once-a-week garbage collection and once-a-week recyclables collection. If you recycle all that you can, your garbage will be significantly reduced and once-a-week collection is all need. If you don’t recycle, once-a-week collection might coerce you to begin.
Either way, it’s a win-win situation.
The City needs to know that we support Citywide pickup. If you are tired of hauling your recyclables around, write a letter. If you support the once-a-week idea, include that in your correspondence.
For those of you who don’t recycle, keep in mind that the City has tossed around the idea of a “pay as you throw” policy. If the 40 percent waste reduction goal continues to be unattainable, this might be what it takes to compel people to get with the program. If this policy is adopted, it will mean the more garbage you toss, the higher your sanitation fee.
Recycle the Right Way
The Fair Oaks Transfer Station provides a partial solution for those of us who have not received curbside collection yet.
However, I realize the signs on the paper bins at the station are confusing. Read the smaller, yellow signs that label each bin. One bin is for newspaper and the other is for virtually every other type of paper. If the containers are full, be sure to walk around to the other side and check those openings.
Take your newspapers out of the grocery sacks before you toss them in the bin. You can then recycle the grocery sacks in the mixed paper bin – not in the trash cans located near by. The signs do not elaborate about what type of paper is accepted, but you may recycle office paper, chipboard (cardboard cereal boxes) junk mail, catalogs, brochures, magazines and cardboard.
The curbside program in District 4 will be considered successful if there is a reduction in the volume of household waste. This can be accomplished by recycling your glass and mixed paper. An option for those who are still waiting for curbside pickup is to buy blue bags and drop off your recyclables on the parkway of a friend who has this service.
If you would like to volunteer with an environmental organization, check with Our Planet Dallas, 934-6538, or the Sierra Club, 369-5543.
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