Why Isn’t Recycling Mandatory?

Recently, two larger cities decided to provide their residents with recycling.  Can you guess which cities have finally implemented curbside recycling?

If you guessed New Orleans, LA and St. Petersburg, FL you would be right!  St. Petersburg is the last major city in Florida to offer residents curbside recycling.  As for New Orleans, the city has offered residents curbside recycling in the past, but the program has been missing for the past nine years, since the tragic Hurricane Katrina.  Their first program was a success story, so lets hope this new program receives the same results.

Now, you may ask, why don’t all cities have recycling?  We’re trying to cut down on waste and landfills, ultimately becoming zero waste, yet some cities have not implemented a curbside recycling plan.  Unfortunately, most of the reasoning comes down to cost.  Recycling costs significantly more than sending waste to landfills in most towns and cities, making it hard for smaller towns to implement the program.

Recycling Poster


However, there are other significant reasons as to why recycling is not a mandatory city program.  Some people feel that the “landfill crisis” that occurred during the 1990’s was overblown.  That, added to the fact that most landfills still have considerable space left and are not a health threat to surrounding communities, leaves some people believing that recycling is not a necessary activity.

Although, those are both reasonable arguments, we also have to think about the future.  The more recyclable materials that go to the landfill now are taking up space for actual waste in the future.  Landfills won’t always have space, and we need to come up with a solution before it is too late.

Some cities have found ways to decrease the cost of recycling, making it more feasible.  Some solutions were to cut back on curbside pickups, and installing automated sorting processes.  Another successful method is to educate the public on the benefits that come from recycling.  Recycling can be expensive, but if smaller towns and cities use their resources they can significantly lower the financial impact.

Recycling is an activity that we all need to partake in, from HOAs to Apartment Complexes to Office Buildings to Retail Centers.  Everyone needs to be recycling, even if there is plenty of capacity in our landfills today, there won’t be in 20 years.



**Refuse Specialists can help lower waste and recycling costs for properties.


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