Grand Ledge recycling struggles to get participation

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By DeVinnia Moore
Living in the Ledge Staff Reporter

Recycling is essential to the environment, but for the city of Grand Ledge could it be too inconvenient and expensive?

City Street Supervisor Chad Brunton said residents want to recycle but just do not take it seriously.

“I want to recycle but I don’t because throwing things away is just way more convenient,” said Kristin Harper, a 20-year-old Grand Ledge resident.

Harper said she tried recycling her bottles and plastics to the recycling center, but now that the hours are reduced it is even more difficult to find time.

In 1993 an old city dump was turned into the Grand Ledge recycling center. The center is located at 310 Whitney St. The center was operated 24 hours a day until recently, when the hours of operation were reduced due to finances.

City Administrator Adam Smith said between 2006 and 2014 the center has lost the city over $21,000, with an expected $3,000 deficit in the upcoming year.

This October the center’s hours of operation were reduced. Now it is open Wednesday from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Map of Recycling center 310 Whitney Street

Map of Recycling center 310 Whitney Street

Smith said the city executed an agreement with Granger this year that provides curbside recycling to residents at no additional cost to Granger trash customers living in the City of Grand Ledge.

Smith said 800 residents have taken advantage of Granger’s curbside recycling service.

However according to  Brunton, this still may not be enough to encourage the community to recycle.

“Less than half of the people who qualify for free curbside do not take advantage of the opportunity,” said Brunton.

Why is it important to recycle?

“Besides the fact that it is just the right thing to do?” said Beth Clawson, a Michigan State University Extension educator and an expert in natural resources.

“Recycling and reuse industries recreate resources that can be re-manufactured, builds the economy, and create jobs, and when you include composting and gardening feeds the earth and people too,” she said.

“Recycling is important not because of all the standard reasons but also because of the non-standard ones as well, like helping people to break away from a pure wasteful consumerist mentality to a more thoughtful sustainable one,” said Clawson.

Clawson said a city can do more to encourage their community to recycle, by simply encouraging recycling.

“They can add useful information to their mailings, websites and other communications and outlets that provides information about services, times and places, etc.” Said Clawson. “Where to recycle how to recycle items such as HHW, tires, electronics, sharps, and appliances.”

For more information on Grand Ledge recycling, visit the Grand Ledge website.


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