Make recycling mandatory

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Can Augusta truly benefit from a mandatory recycling program? Optimistically, the answer is yes.

Many cities across the United States have adopted mandatory recycling. If cities such as Seattle and Pittsburgh have had a program for reusing materials in place for years, then why can’t Augusta have one?

The first issue in the answer to mandatory recycling is finding out how it can be done economically. Given Augusta’s infrastructure, the access to road and rail may alleviate both the environmental and transportation costs.

The second issue would be getting the community on board with sorting trash into separate bins and dealing with noncompliance fines. While it may be a slight inconvenience at first, the short-term benefits would be a unilateral push toward a cleaner city despite the time of year. The outcome of getting the junk off our streets and lots potentially could attract developers, and perhaps create more jobs within the city. The long-term benefits possibly could be residual income from reused materials, and a reduction in local landfills.

Cardboard, plastic bottles, glass and aluminum cans can be repurposed into either the same functional forms from which they were made, or into a multitude of products. It would be naïve to say that this easily could be done; however, I believe that the benefits outweigh the costs. Initially, there would be expenditures from bins, sorting locations and placement in the city budget.

We must understand that being “greener” would be beneficial to businesses and residents alike. By instituting a mandatory recycling program, we can create a brighter future for generations to come, and a cleaner city of which we all can be proud.

Comments (10) Add comment
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Angela H
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Angela H 08/13/14 - 04:59 am
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NOT! If you make "recycling"

NOT! If you make "recycling" mandatory, then you will soon be mandating the manner in which it is recycled, which, if government is involved, will be the least efficient manner possible. Say good bye to auto junk yards, where old auto parts get reused, because the government will likely come up with some plan that ALL old cars must go through.....such as the cash for clunkers program where they took working autos and destroyed them in the name of being "green." They are masters of cutting off their nose to spite their face.

deestafford
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deestafford 08/13/14 - 06:40 am
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Angela H. hits the nail on the head...

Angela H. hits the nail on the head. "While it maybe a slight inconvenience at first..." is always the camel's nose in the tent used by those who always know what's good for us. If only we would listen to them the world would be so much better.

Truth be known, I don't want to be like Seattle, Pittsburgh, San Francisco or others like them. If a person wants to feel good that they are contributing to a cleaner environment let them do it voluntarily but don't force it on other.

RMSHEFF
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RMSHEFF 08/13/14 - 06:53 am
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It seems the government want

It seems the government wants to mandate as much of our lives as they possibly can and they continually prove they can't run anything well. NO THANKS ! I can see it now...."the recycle police"

Jake
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Jake 08/13/14 - 09:01 am
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It's not hard

Not sure if my community has "mandatory" recycling but we are provided with 3 bins for waste. One is for compost (lawn clippings, leafs, scraps, etc). One is for glass, plastic, metal, paper, etc. The last one is for actual trash. It is no strain to put the items in the bins and requires very little brain power. There is no penalty for not using the system but why not use it?

Angela H
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Angela H 08/13/14 - 09:10 am
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Jake....sounds like your

Jake....sounds like your system is working just fine without the government control that the letter writer is calling for. If it's working, why should we lose freedom as well.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 08/13/14 - 02:28 pm
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Mandatory

How in the world would "mandatory" recycling work. Out here, we have voluntary recycling and they pick it up on the curb in a special bin. Now, if I put my newspaper in the recycle bin, everyone is happy. But if I were to put the newspaper in the garbage bin, how would anybody know? The garbage pick-up vehicles are massive things with mechanical arms that come down, clasp the garbage bin (it has a hinged lid on it), lift the bin into the air, invert the bin, where the contents fall into the top of the truck, and the arm slams the bin down on the ground. There is only one person on the pick-up vehicle. He does not know about the newspaper in the garbage bin.

How in the world could they run a mandatory program with fines?

Angela H
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Angela H 08/13/14 - 03:52 pm
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How would they enforce it?

How would they enforce it? By paying a HUGE amount of government workers to sift through your garbage prior to it being dumped....or some other such inefficient process. That is more evidence to the first post I made on this thread.

Young Fred
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Young Fred 08/13/14 - 08:58 pm
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It's very

interesting to tally the actual cost of recycling.

Many times there's no actual benefit other than making people feeeeel good.

GnipGnop
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GnipGnop 08/14/14 - 12:16 am
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I'll buy into mandatory recycling

when politicians buy into mandatory term limits...

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