Niagara Gazette

Opinion

June 2, 2014

CITY DESK Getting with the program

Niagara Gazette — It’s time to get with the program.

Myself included. 

Refuse and recyclables disposal in Niagara Falls is about to undergo a pretty radical change. 

It would seem, based on the community’s woeful recycling rates, a new direction is long overdue. 

For those who don’t know, Niagara Falls has some of the worst recy-cling habits in all of Western New York. If you want more details, you can read all about. Reporter Dan Telvock wrote an excellent piece on the website Investigative Post. 

As Telvock notes, the city recycles at a rate of just 4 percent annually. 

By comparison, the nation’s curbside recycling rate is about 25 percent while the region’s rate is around 13 percent. 

I’ve owned a home here for many years now and I’m still sometimes amazed at the way garbage and recyclables are handled in our neighborhood. 

Some of my neighbors have smallish, rectangular blue bins they are supposed to use for cardboard boxes, laundry detergent bottles and what not. Others don’t. Use on our street is hit or miss. 

It’s not unusual to find the pizza boxes and plastic containers intermingled with the regular trash. 

Over the years, those who have disobeyed the rules — and there have been many — have faced basically zero consequences.

City officials hope the agreement with Modern Corp. will raise the standards, thereby improving the recycling rates. 

No more dirty little secrets inside the garbage bags at the end of the driveway means all of us, myself included, are going to have to be more conscientious when it comes to taking out the trash. 

As is the case with any sort of real effort to change, there’s going to a learning curve, likely a few hiccups and headaches and, most certainly, some complaints. 

We’ll all have to pay careful attention to what should be recycled and when. 

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