The switchboards lit up when the City of Sedalia started its curbside recycling program. I’ve never seen and heard such a continuous slew of complaints about how awful and terrible something was.
I now know that there are some people who are very attached to their current waste disposal day. They have a routine that they like and that they’ve lived by for a few years, and they liked the schedule just how it was. That’s fair, I suppose, but any day would be fine by me.
But what’s worse is that many of the complaints are from people who don’t even live in Sedalia! The city is a regional hub of commerce and traffic and it should come as no shock that it would be a regional hub of recycling. Of course we should pack up all of our recyclables, we’re passing through Sedalia!
It was a city service intended to be used by city residents, but they got more than they bargained for and had to restructure the whole thing because of the extra material from people who make regular trips to or through Sedalia who started to schedule their recycling around that fact.
I have before and will again write columns in which I encourage people to reuse and recycle. But while the City of Sedalia recycling apparatus is quite impressive it can’t handle an infinite amount of recyclables from an undefined area. Well, not yet anyway.
So I know that puts Pettis County residents who want to recycle and have been at the city satellite locations in an awkward position. There are private waste contractors, but asking people to pay money for something they used to do for free? It’s a thing that happens too often these days. Maybe some county citizens could get together and propose some sort of county recycling route be added to the week in exchange for those households paying the waste disposal fees just like the households in the city limits.
But the complaints have slowed down. Well, that’s not entirely true. I have one and it’s coming in hot. We’re still not doing enough in the recycling department, people of Sedalia. According to the numbers quoted in Nicole Cooke’s story in Tuesday’s edition of The Sedalia Democrat we’re still not where we should be. Of course, it’s going to get better week by week as people become accustomed to the new arrangement. But it should only take so long. We’re still producing too much trash that could be recycled.
If we cooperate this thing will continue to get bigger and maybe we might be able to increase our potential intake exponentially. We could become the recycling capitol of Mid-Missouri in a profitable way, rather than in an inevitable way. Imagine Sedalia specific designations of all the kinds of raw recycled material because so much of it flows through the State Fair City.
And we need to recycle right – I know the rules can seem a little complicated, but I know that we can do it.
Travis McMullen is a longtime Sedalia resident who shares his views on the city through his weekly Democrat column.