Recycling worth the effort, money

Published 11:13 pm Wednesday, April 21, 2010

It has been interesting to watch over the past few weeks as the number of area homeowners and residents signing up for the voluntary recycle program has inched up ever higher.

What was once just 200 or so sign-ups has crept up to more than 2,000 and what was once a whispered about dream of some — that a recycle program would ever come back to Suffolk — is increasingly becoming a reality.

Although city officials and representatives with TFC Recycling set forth a lofty goal of 3,000 homes signed up by Earth Day (today), it is still remarkable to many that this program has come as far as it has.

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In Suffolk, every home still receives weekly free trash pickup. TFC Recycling’s goal included signing up 3,000 residences that would pay $12 per month every other week for curbside recycling pickup. It is a credit to city leaders for agreeing to restart the program and to the efforts of TFC Recycling for educating the benefits of such a program.

There are those naysayers who will argue that $12 per month is “too much” and “far higher than neighboring communities.” They are right, at least in part.

Compared to area communities the $12 per month fee is higher, but this fee comes without any compensation from the city of Suffolk, and it is voluntary.

In Chesapeake, the amount is $6 per month, but it is a mandatory program.

In developing this program, regardless if they lived in a densely populated area such as downtown Suffolk or in remote areas like Holland or Whaleyville, city leadership wanted the program to be voluntary and to have the same rate charged to every resident.

From the beginning, we have been extremely supportive of this program because it shows the growth and maturity of a community in how it handles its waste and how it protects its resources.

And, for the city that is home to the region’s landfill, any program that slows the flood of everyday and recyclable waste to the landfill should be applauded.

While it is very likely the goal of 3,000 registered homes by Earth Day may not be met, we congratulate everyone involved in getting this program to where it is today and encourage everyone to consider doing just this small part in preserving our natural resources.