Shreveport's recycling plan - or, at least, its revival - has been a hot topic in our city recently. After the municipal contract with Republic Services expired over last fall, residents recyclables have been tossed in the trash instead of the designated blue bins, while city leaders looked for a way (affordable way) to bring back the service.

A recent recommendation by a four-person, mayor appointed committee was almost immediately dismissed, primarily because the company of choice isn't currently in the recycling business. and in commenting on their disapproval, City Council members Grayson Boucher and John Nickelson bring up an even larger point. Should the city's recycling plan, in any form, be revived at all?

Grayson Boucher via Facebook:

"As a Councilmember my top priority is to be a good steward of taxpayers dollars. After review, I’m convinced that the proposed recycling contract is not in the best interest of our city or our citizens. I am a firm NO when it comes to approving this contract."

And then the District D rep starts the real discussion:

"I personally think it will be difficult for any company to provide bi-monthly curbside recycling for $2.50 a month. I believe as a city and a council we need to have a serious discussion about where we go from here with our recycling program."

In other words, can the city afford, or will its citizens be willing to pay, an increased fee for a service in which only a limited number participate.

Then, Councilman John Nickelson takes it a step further:

"The challenges we face with recycling are not unique to our city. Communities across the country 'have curtailed collections or halted their recycling programs entirely' following China’s decision in January 2018 to ban the import of plastics and other recyclable materials."

And then he makes the point that, if we ( or any city) can't do it right, why do it at all?

"Collecting recyclable materials serves no purpose if those materials are not actually recycled, and I will not support any recycling agreement that does not make efficient and effective use of taxpayers’ money. I look forward to working with my colleagues and the administration to reevaluate our options for addressing this important issue."

A recent study made the point that even before the China ban, less than 10% of "recycled" plastics were really being recycled, most ending up in landfills or incinerators. So, even if they're not yet willing to come out and say it, Boucher and Nickelson have at least started the conversation. Is it worth $36 a year (at least) to each citizen of Shreveport to be a green virtue signaler?

Absolutely not. And if city leaders from the mayor to the council come to that conclusion, then whatever time was spent on the recent ill-fated recycling recommendation, then maybe it won't have been a complete waste.


Longest Bridges in the USA

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