City has problems to fix before expanding current recycling program

Published 5:50 pm Friday, January 3, 2014

Forgive us if we are not a little concerned about the idea of expanding the recycling services in the city of Selma.

Our concerns have nothing to do with recycling itself. In fact, the newspaper you hold in your hands is printed on recycled newspaper, using soybean-based ink and the plates used in the printing process are also recycled.

But, our concern is with the condition and upkeep of those recycling stations already in Selma. Rather, the sometimes deplorable condition of those recycling stations.

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On more than one occasion, we have published photos of not only recyclable materials — but bags of household garbage — piled up next to the recycling bins.

During a recent meeting by the Selma City Council subcommittee aimed at monitoring and expanding recycling, Selma City Councilwoman Susan Keith shared our point of view.

But, only constant monitoring by city crews and more regular pick-ups can control what have become miniature landfills right in the middle of our neighborhoods.

Video surveillance will do little to control the problem and will only be an unwarranted expense with no offset.

Selma already has a chronic littering problem that is only exacerbated by the lack of cleanliness around some of these stations and until that can be fixed, we don’t think it would be a good idea to expand the number of stations.

Again, we have supported the recycling program from the very beginning and believe it to be a part of an overall effort to reduce the amount of garbage going into the city’s landfill.

But, before the program can grow bigger, it must first grow better.