To the Editor:
Reference to the article “Residents react to citywide recycling,” I am Mike Harris and am not 22 as the article stated (Thursday, July 25 KDH, Page A5). But I’ve been in Killeen for 22-plus years and am the owner of Pita-De-Jour, downtown, Killeen.
There is no doubt that recycling in needed. The magic word is “mandatory. ” It was published that I said: “You should get paid to do something good.” The problem is that the whole sentence was not printed. What was left out is: “instead of paying to do something good.”
I don’t have a problem with doing something good like recycling, and it can be mandatory, but there shouldn’t be a cost to residents. Instead of buying bins and trucks, how about making, perhaps, more recycling drop locations? Make it easy to do for free.
I said it would take needed income from many who are homeless or in need of extra cash, and those who spend their days picking up recyclables from the streets and selling them to the commercial recycle company at a price per pound. But perhaps it would cause everything to be easy for them to go house to house taking from the recycling bins.
There should be an incentive to recycle not a burden. Instead of charging, give a reward. What about taking $3 off the utility bill instead of charging $3? The city could even lower the trash pickup rate for those who recycle. Even Fort Hood has an incentive for soldiers to recycle. Funds go in to their unit’s morale funds.
Residents should not have to pay for doing something good. They should be praised and not burdened. Find a way to make it easy and a low- to no cost. Low-cost drop locations run by one to three employees with the recycle truck picking nonhazardous material every day between 3 and 5 p.m. Hazardous items, however, still have to be taken to the main recycling areas in the city. Give credit, according to weight, to the resident. That could add up to monetary credit on a trash bill and or give community awards. Just ideas!
All this has to start with putting out a bold but positive recycling message on TV and/or billboards and schools, and I think most people will do the right thing. Thanks for listening.