OUR VIEW: We believe curbside recycling is needed, but it’s clear most citizens don’t

Published 10:30 am Thursday, June 23, 2022

Recycling continues to be a hot button issue in LaGrange, as the city council has considered cutting curbside service due to the lack of participants in the program.

The truth is that the program has never been that popular. When we reported on it in 2018 — two years after it launched — just over 1,000 households had signed up for the service. Mayor Jim Thornton said that about 1400 households currently participate in the program.

That number is really so low that it’s a shame, especially when you consider how much people in this community complain about trash. The EPA says recycling reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators, conserves national resources such as timber, water and materials and prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials.

This is a community that has several leaders intent on moving us forward, not only as a city but also as a society.

It’s hard to imagine doing that without having a way for citizens to handle their recycling in a way that doesn’t cause a real headache.

At the same time, none of us would continue running a business that continued to lose thousands of dollars each month.

The city is losing $160,000 a year with its recycling business, and this isn’t exactly an unknown issue. It’s not a secret that the service has been losing money, as we reported on it four years ago.

While we understand people are upset about the service ending, those margins just don’t work. Unfortunately, it’s clear most LaGrange residents don’t care to pay for curbside recycling.

We think it’s a shame, but that’s also a fact, as a low percentage of households participate.

And if the majority of people don’t want a service — even one we believe is much needed — then why should the city foot an expensive bill to continue it?