To the editor:
In regards to the recent article concerning recycling. The recycle program will never work as intended in Stillwater because of the nature of our population. Drive through any student dense area of the City on trash pick up day and you will note the large number of recycle carts that are being used as a second trash cart. You cannot effectively educate these people because of the rapid turn over and the large percentage of people that do have no attachment to the City and simply do not care.
The good thing about the large recycle collection areas that we used to have is the fact that people who took the time to drive there wanted to recycle properly.
I know bagging recyclables causes problems and again education’s effects will be limited. The price we pay for the non bagging system is the large amount of street trash generated by loss from the pickup system.
I know this because I once ran a experiment in a neighborhood to find out how much was generated by trash pick up day and it was considerable. Add to that the amount of trash lost from carts during wind and rain storms. I do not know a good answer to how you deal with rapid turn over. Perhaps a aggressive audit campaign in selected areas known for non- compliance with a two strike rule that pulls the re-cycle cart after multiple failures to properly sort? It’s a good idea, unfortunately you are working with people, good luck.