Too many ques­tions about re­cy­cling plan re­main

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - EDITORIAL PAGE -

Re­gard­ing the sin­gle-stream re­cy­cling that will be dis­cussed and pos­si­bly be voted on at the Feb. 21 City Coun­cil meet­ing: There are too many yet- unan­swered ques­tions to war­rant ap­proval of this ma­jor change in Fayetteville’s re­cy­cling sys­tem.

Why would the city of Fayetteville adopt the en­tire set of rec­om­men­da­tions from the Kessler ( not to be confused with our pre­cious moun­tain) con­sult­ing firm hired by the city? A Nov. 22, 2016, memo from Don Marr out­lines his and the mayor’s con­cerns that com­plete adop­tion should not be done.

Not small among those con­cerns is the cred­i­bil­ity of a re­cy­cling pro­gram that may be able to di­vert trash from our land­fill but will not ul­ti­mately de­liver on ac­tu­ally re­cy­cling those ma­te­ri­als. If ma­te­ri­als are col­lected but can­not be turned into some­thing new, that is not re­cy­cling.

Will our so- called re­cy­clables end up in some­one else’s land­fill be­cause the ma­te­ri­als were too con­tam­i­nated to be reused? My un­der­stand­ing is that even with a state- ofthe-art fa­cil­ity, which we do not have and is not a likely multi-mil­lion dol­lar city project on the hori­zon, that we can ex­pect a greater than 15 per­cent con­tam­i­na­tion rate with this pro­posed sin­gle stream. Our cur­rent rate of con­tam­i­na­tion is 3 per­cent. Ma­te­ri­als that are con­tam­i­nated can­not be sold for re­cy­cling. They will end up in our or some­one else’s land­fill.

There are some good rec­om­men­da­tions in the Kessler re­port to the city for how we can keep more waste out of our land­fill, such as ways to re­cy­cle food waste and build­ing waste. Sin­gle stream, how­ever, is not one of them.

GINNY MASULLO Fayetteville

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