Residents of the Holiday Hills neighborhood have now had eight months to sign up for the curbside single stream recycling program. And some have done just that — sign up.
At a recent Winchester Municipal Utilities Commission meeting, General Manager Mike Flynn said 512 of the 539 households in Holiday Hills had signed up for the recycling service as of March 30.
But he later said just 352 households have actually used the service.
Mayor Ed Burtner, a Holiday Hills resident himself who participates in the recycling program, said more participation is needed.
“And I don’t know how it could be any (easier),” he said. “We give them a Curbit. It’s single stream. It’s picked up once a week. We need to try and encourage people to use the service.”
Burtner is right. If residents keep the Curbit in their garage or somewhere that’s easily accessible throughout the week and throw in recyclables as they go, all they have to do is drag the Curbit out to their curb every Friday.
Even if the Curbit is not completely full every week, every bit recycled is a little bit more kept out of landfills, so every bit counts.
From December 2009 to January 2010, the entire WMU service area was surveyed, and about 1,450 WMU customers responded.
The most important question in that survey: Do you support the use of curbside recycling as a means of capturing recycling materials? Seventy-one percent of those who responded said “yes.”
Holiday Hills was chosen for the pilot program because it includes a variety of socioeconomic households, and it provides a confined perimeter for WMU workers to learn their capacity to provide efficient curbside recycling.
WMU officials will decide how to move forward with the Holiday Hills recycling program after a comprehensive study of the utility’s solid waste operations is complete, they said recently.
Expanding the curbside recycling program to other areas of the community is dependent upon how the Holiday Hills experiment goes, as officials have said before. That is another reason more residents should participate.
The people of Holiday Hills are the first in the community who get to try out curbside recycling, and being the first is pretty cool.
So why not take advantage of it?
If the thought of figuring out what is or is not recyclable overwhelms you, visit www.wmutilities.com/recycling/wmurecyclingcenter.html, for a list WMU has for its customers.
And, if you don’t have access to a computer, here’s a breakdown of that list:
— rinsed aluminum cans
— corrugated cardboard (no cereal or pizza boxes)
— brown, green or clear glass
— rinsed metal containers
— mixed, non-shiny paper
— telephone books with the front and back covers removed
— grade 1 and 2 plastics (plastic containers with the recycling symbol around the numbers 1 or 2)
Members of the community, WMU officials and workers, and local leaders worked hard to get the pilot recycling program up and running, and those efforts should not be in vain.
By taking advantage of the program, you’re blazing a path for the possibility of better recycling opportunities for the entire community.
And you’re also setting a positive example for other residents of the community who hopefully will get the service in the near future.
Being a trailblazer’s pretty cool, too, right?
And more simply, it’s about doing the right thing for the environment and preserving a better community — and Earth — for the future.