Program good for environment, economy

Published 7:22 pm Monday, June 7, 2010

Enough is apparently just enough.

Although the Earth Day “deadline” came and went and even though not as many signed up as what was once said were needed, curbside recycling is making a comeback in Suffolk.

Nearly five months after the initiative to sign-up thousands of Suffolk homes, TFC Recycling said the program is a go and recycling collection should begin by mid-July.

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From the beginning, the Suffolk News-Herald has been supportive of the recycling program, believing such a program would be good for the environment, good for the economy and, in the long run, good for Suffolk.

As stated many times, Suffolk is one of the fastest growing communities in Hampton Roads, expecting double-digit percentage growth over the next two decades. With that growth comes an increase in homes, an increase in people and, as a result, an increase in trash.

Any effort by local citizens to reduce the amount of trash being shipped off to the Suffolk-based Southeastern Public Service Authority’s landfill not only shows we are slightly concerned about the environment, but shows we are conscious of the future.

The amount of trash being handled by the landfill is growing by the day, and the space the landfill has remaining is finite. Eventually, the landfill as it is currently configured will be full, and Suffolk — if not the other Hampton Roads communities — will be forced either to expand the facility, build a new one or ship garbage out of the area.

Any little bit we can remove from that waste and send to TFC’s recycling facility means that much less will head to be buried in our hometown.

Beginning in 2018, Suffolk citizens could see the end of free weekly trash pick-up, and it is yet to be seen just how much of that multi-million dollar cost of doing the job will be passed on by the city to local homeowners.

Keeping that in mind, changing the way we handle our household garbage — removing as many recyclable products as possible, for example — will mean savings to our own pocketbooks in the long run.

Today we applaud the efforts of city officials at arranging the TFC partnership and the local groups who have worked to sign up as many residents as they can. Without their work, without their focus, we would still be a city without a recycling program and a city without a conscience about its future.