I was sitting with my daughter on Earth Day 2019 in the Twin Falls City Council Chamber when it was reported by PSI that we are doing such a bad job at recycling that we are creating a larger carbon footprint while still paying to put trash in landfills through a method called diversion. We have known for over a year that we are not able to recycle everything we are told to put in the recycling can. The City Council wants us to continue this charade of recycling because they think the people are not smart enough to figure out a new routine.
We could have “recycled” less over the past year and saved money and resources on diverting our trash to other landfills and reduced our carbon footprint.
We can still sustainably recycle metals and cardboard but not plastics. Plastics get sorted out and taken to a landfill. We continue this practice in the hope that global market forces for recyclable materials will go back to the way they used to be. But what if this does not change?
There are options we can choose on the local level. Regardless of what happens globally, we can still choose a more secure path for our future as a city or county. I recommend that the city pursue a long term goal (to be placed in the Strategic Plan) of encouraging local recycling. This could be through several means such as a municipal recycling plant or through a public-private partnership.
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In the meantime, we should limit what we take into the recycling can to reduce the cost of sorting and reduce our carbon footprint. It would promote a better future for our children and for our common good.