Our Opinion: Take advantage of recycling changes

Published 10:14 am Wednesday, August 24, 2016

After about a year of work, Mower County is rolling out changes to its recycling program, but public use will determine whether the efforts are successful.

On Sept. 1, the county will begin accepting plastics Nos. 3-7 along with the current Nos. 1 and 2, plus it will increase curbside pickup from twice a month to weekly on the first four weeks of the month.

These options are meant to boost the county’s recycling program and ultimately keep more trash out of the landfill, but that only works if people embrace the changes.

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Discussions on recycling garnered much public attention last year when the county board discussed switching to single-sort recycling. The discussions attracted varied opinions with many people strongly supporting a switch to single-sort recycling, while others wanted to keep the current program due to the 14-17 jobs it provides through Cedar Valley Services for residents with disabilities.

Ultimately, the board opted to increase its current recycling program for a variety of reasons.

While discussions on whether single-sort was the best option for the public attracted a host of opinions, the board’s changes since have been completed with much less public attention. But the board should be commended for the hard work its put into boosting its recycling program.

Along with adding more plastics and increasing pickup, the board is making changes to the recycling center to make it easier to drop off recycling. The county is updating the Mower County Recycling Center, 1111 Eighth Ave. NE, for indoor unloading of recyclables and to add outdoor drop boxes where the general public can drop recyclables off anytime.

While these changes may not fully satisfy people who were excited about single-sort, we encourage people to take advantage of the updated system.

The board found a good middle ground with its recycling changes. The steps should boost the amount of recycling, it comes at a lower cost than the proposed single-sort switch, and it keeps the Cedar Valley jobs.

The next step to make this a success is in the public’s hands, so we encourage you to take advantage of the changes and study up on recycling.

For more information about pickup in your neighborhood, visit www.co.mower.mn.us/public-works-recycling-hhw.html.