Thursday, October 04, 2012

Morgantown West Virginia Is Expanding Its Recycling Program!

Late last week, I received a letter in the mail from Morgantown's City Office Manager, Terrence Moore, announcing some incredible news. Morgantown has launched a full scale curbside recycling program. This is outstanding news and a big leap forward for our community’s efforts to take better care of the planet.

Why am I so excited about this? For a long time, recycling has been something I have cared about (to varying degrees). When I was a kid, I used to walk along river banks and through neighborhoods to pick up aluminum cans. Part of this was good for the environment, and part of it was good for me to have some money for baseball cards and things like that. When I was a freshman at WVU, I worked hard to get a recycling program initiated in the residence halls. It had some fits and starts during my undergraduate era, but now, I’m excited to say that the university has an incredible focus on recycling and sustainability efforts.

Separately, in 2006, I found out my mom had breast cancer. She went to be with Jesus about a year later. Incidence of cancer has risen drastically over the last 20-30 years. My wife’s mom was diagnosed with breast cancer last year while we were on our honeymoon. Three of my dad’s living siblings have had cancer. My sister has had cancer. I’m sure you can think of folks who are close to you as well. In my reading, one of the leading contributors to cancer is believed to be environmental issues. When I made that discovery, I began to look really closely at my own energy consumption habits as well as the amount of waste I was producing.

At the time I lived with roommates, and we had gatherings at our house on a regular basis. We produced a lot of materials that went in the garbage. We started recycling back then. It would take 2-3 weeks to fill our garbage can after we started recycling. It occurred to me as I made trips to the local recycling center that my roommates and I could reduce the speed at which landfills would fill by choosing to recycle. From everything I’ve read, it takes significantly energy to recycle some materials than it does to produce new materials. Some materials take a really long time to begin to break down, and those same materials can be recycled fairly easily.

Now, my wife and I continue to recycle. As a result, we fill an eight-gallon trash bag with non-recyclable material about one or two times per month.  Our recyclables require us to fill our car once per month to take it to the recycling center.

All that being said, the biggest reason I’m excited about this recycling program is that it appears to be really easy. During the week of December 10, 2012, residents will receive a 65 gallon recycling cart. Service will start the week of January 7, 2013.

The program will recycle just about everything. Aluminum cans, all colors and shapes of glass, corrugated cardboard, newsprint and inserts, steel cans, plastics #1-6, paperback books/phone books, magazines, catalogs, junk mail, office paper, pizza box lids, and even dry food and tissue boxes.

I’m excited for this incredible new development for the city of Morgantown, for the environment, and for future generations who will appreciate the efforts of our generation to wisely steward the resources which which we have been entrusted

No comments: