Think about it, you finish drinking a can of soda or a bottle of water and you toss it in the trash. What happens next? The can or bottle goes into a landfill where it may take from 50-450 years to decompose. Glass bottles may take millions of years to decompose. That’s a lot of time and a lot of trash! Stanford University found that the “average American discards seven and a half pounds of garbage every day.” All this means that eventually landfills will run out of space and trash will be everywhere-polluting water supplies, polluting air quality, and ruining our natural habitat.
You probably know recycling is a beneficial alternative to simply creating more trash. What you may not know is that currently Sulphur Springs doesn’t have a recycling facility. City Manager Marc Maxwell stated that the issue “really it comes down to economics, while there are reasons to do it regarding the environment and sustainability,” the main opposition is cost. In 2009 the City Council looked into creating a recycling trailer to put in a central location for citizens to put all of their recyclables. However, the total cost of the operation would be about $30,000 a year, and it would have only been open during specific hours. Therefore, the Council decided to table, or hold off on, the decision. “There just hasn’t been the groundswell of support for [recycling], there’s been some limited support, but not enough to get it done.” Maxwell explains. “Ultimately this is the public’s city.” If the public were to call for recycling facilities then the City would create them. Until then, Citizens are stuck with throwing their recyclables away in landfills, but we can change that, together, we can meet with the city council and show our support for more recycling programs. Many cities like Plano and Commerce are joining the recycling movement and we should too.
Here’s the community challenge – we all know there are actually a lot of benefits to having a recycling center. It starts with less pollution-not as much trash on the streets and factories save energy because they wouldn’t have to harvest so many raw materials. As the Stanford article explained: “This is because recycled materials have already been refined and processed once; manufacturing the second time is much cleaner and less energy-intensive than the first. For example, manufacturing with recycled aluminum cans uses 95 percent less energy” than finding or creating new aluminum. “Recycling promotes the economic recovery and reuse of materials, and also helps extend the life of local landfills by sending less waste to fill up their limited space” Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) specialist, Andrew Keese stated in an interview with KSST. Additionally having a recycling facility would provide more job opportunities like truck drivers, plant workers and operation managers.
Until we get a recycling facility, if you want to do your part to recycle here are some options:
Reed’s Scrap Metals takes all kinds of metals, aluminum, steel, copper, tin. All you have to do is stop by and they will weigh what you have, and pay you for it. Echo Publishing takes papers that need to be recycled. Brookshire’s takes plastics and papers on the north-side of the store. Walmart takes plastics right inside their front doors.
As responsible members of our community – let’s help start a movement by recycling and demonstrate that we care about our town. Then, if we show we care, the City Council and City Manager can bring a Recycling facility to Sulphur Springs. Is recycling important to you for our community? Do you think Sulphur Springs could attract additional companies if we were more socially responsible and “green?” Let us hear from you!