LIBERTY — It what city officials are referring to as “a new direction,” the City of Liberty has trashed its curb-side recycling program.
In a recent statement announcing the change, the city called the move a “positive change” saying its elimination will “save taxpayers money, benefit the community and environment and preserve space at the landfill.”
Acknowledging the importance of recycling, the city is encouraging residents to not abandon the practice and instead to bring their recyclables to local recycling centers.
“Recycled goods bring in revenue for every ton of materials sold,” the statement reads. “The sale of tons recycled for the fiscal year 2016 was $397,777.39.”
Liberty City Administrator Shirley Hughes later clarified that the nearly $400,000 was the total for the county, not Liberty alone.
“If recyclable materials are thrown into the trash, it costs taxpayers more money to operate landfill facilities that store trash,” said a city official. “In addition, recycling potentially helps create jobs. Recycled materials are manufactured into new, usable goods. This process reinforces and preserves a green environment and conserves natural resources in Pickens County.”
However, according to several studies conducted and published by the Environmental Protection Agency concerning municipal solid waste (MSW) and recycling, cities that do not offer curbside recycling can expect lower levels of household participation.
The EPA states communities that rely solely on residents hauling their own collections to recycling centers tend to languish at around 3 to 9 percent.
Whereas in cities that do have curbside pickup of recyclables, that number increases by as much as 30 percent.
“Ultimately, it is imperative residents continue to recycle,” say city officials. “Without cooperation, the benefits the community enjoys will no longer be available.”
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.