Morgan Hughes presented an article detailing the troubles of Casper’s recycling program. I’m glad that this issue was brought to the public, and I also appreciate the effort made by the City Council to obtain public opinion. Here’s mine: Recycling matters, and Casper needs to make it work. The economics of effectively recycling our waste present several challenges, but I believe that implementing creative recycling solutions will be worthwhile for everyone.
City-facilitated recycling must persist in Casper. Our recycling program already has the resources and technical know-how that’s necessary to operate a recycling system. A total eradication of recycling facilitated by the city would drag Casper two steps back, when we need to be making sustainable advances into the future. The fact is that recycling exists as a crucial aspect of a sustainable world and as a central pillar of a healthy community. The waste that we recycle stays out of our streams and prairies. Circular consumption allows our economy to grow without so much pollution and litter. Even the act of recycling makes us more conscious of our consumption, and can nudge us towards other sustainable habits. Maybe you could bike to work and recycle the calories from the cinnamon roll you had for breakfast.
Whatever course our city chooses, communities throughout Casper can organize to make recycling feasible and effective. Community networks of recyclers can communicate and set up a schedule of volunteers — one each week — to take the neighborhood recyclables to the proper facility. Neighbors are held accountable by neighbors, and recycling becomes more efficient. During the summer months the city could install temporary recycle depots at the Farmers Market, promoting the recycling initiative and centralizing the collections area. How are other small towns recycling their waste? What can we learn from towns across the country?