Recycling waste products, be it paper, cars, plastics, cardboard, grass clippings, or other things we dispose of in our daily lives, is something that is good for our environment.
If we can recycle paper, it means fewer trees are cut down to make new paper.
If we recycle plastic, it removes a waste product from the environment that will take decades, if not longer, to decompose.
Locally, recycling lessens the flow of garbage heading to the landfill. The less garbage in, the longer a landfill cell will last as a storage spot for our community’s garbage and that means the City has to invest less often in commissioning new cells.
Given new environmental regulations, landfill expansion is increasingly expensive – Yorkton’s new pit cost the city $5.6 million – so they want to be able to use it for as long as possible.
That is a cost saving, which is good news for a city where there are numerous projects in need of funding, including our sewers, streets, and sidewalks.
So, common sense tells us recycling is a positive thing for our city.
To the credit of the community, the opportunity to recycle has existed for years. Yorkton has had a curbside recycling program for over a decade, allowing people to just toss their recycling in front of their homes once a week, to be picked up by the youth in the Prairie Harvest Employment Program.
Having the Prairie Harvest Employment Program involved is another major plus for the overall recycling initiative as it creates entry level employment for those needing an extra hand to get into the workplace.
Now, more than a decade into a worthwhile program, the city is looking to boost participation.
In an interview with Yorkton This Week, Mayor Bob Maloney said while the use of the curbside program is improving, they want to see more. The result of this effort is a campaign to get people more aware of the recycling program, what can be recycled. They have also launched a survey to get feedback on the curbside recycling program.
The reason is simply for the added focus. Yorkton is lagging in terms of recycling when compared with other similar communities.
JeanAnne Teliske with Environmental Services said that is because Yorkton was on the lower end of cities of comparable size.
The goal of the survey is to find out why this is the case and hopefully encourage more recycling in the process.
The survey is being used as an educational tool, telling people details about the program as they answer questions and provide feedback.
There are two areas being focused on.
The first is telling people what can, and can’t, be recycled.
And also reminding people they’re paying for the service anyway, so they might as well take advantage of it.
One thing the City is contemplating is making an app to go along with the recycling program, which would feature a reminder so people take their recycling out on the right day, and a guide if they have questions about whether something can actually be recycled.
Clearly, the City is dedicated to the concept of helping resident recycle, and that process has numerous positives associated with it.
The next step is for the community to take advantage of the survey to have input toward building a better recycling program for the overall good of our community.
You can fill out the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/yorktoncurbsiderecycling before Sept. 15.