Payson Owes It To Itself To Recycle

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My husband and I are occasional Payson residents (two months a year) with the hopes of eventually moving there full time. In the meantime, we keep up with Payson happenings by having the Roundup mailed to us in Missouri.

As much as we love Payson, we were very disappointed to read the Dec. 25 article in the business section about the new Community Recycling Services encountering apathy on the part of residents.

When we left Payson last summer, the center was almost up and running, and we were very happy about that. In the rural area of Missouri where we live, we recycle everything and have two centers to choose from, even though each is about 14 miles from our home. So it seemed odd, to say the least, that a community that has touted its "clean air" could be so blatantly uninterested in recycling -- especially with a center of such quality so conveniently located.

Folks, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to recycle. All it takes is a concern for our environment plus a little time and effort. You don't have time, you say? Sure you do--if you approach recycling with a little thought. May I give you a few simple tips.

Create several storage levels for your recyclable items. The first level will probably be your kitchen, where most of your recyclables originate. Think: aluminum cans, plastic containers, plastic bags, tin cans, glass, catalogs and magazines, newspapers, phone books. Find small cubbyholes where you can temporarily hide these items in containers until they are full. Some of these items will fit nicely into boxes or baskets; others in large garbage bags.

Flatten the plastic bottles and the tin/aluminum cans to make the most of your space. Rinse out containers and bottles. Put newspapers into brown grocery bags. The trick is not to let the recycling get ahead of you. Then you're tempted to throw it out. Do it immediately (it only takes a few seconds) and put it where it belongs.

When these items fill your temporary storage space, take them to your secondary site (possibly your garage or other storage area) and put them into larger containers such as bigger boxes or large barrels until THEY fill. That will be your signal to go to your recycling center. (We have it down to about four or five times a year for a family of three). Other items such as batteries, metal, electric motors and chipboard can be stored in the garage until you make the trip to the recycling center.

It is understandable that in the Southwest where there is so much land, people could become complacent. But now you have a great recycling center right in your back yard and competent people operating it! PLEASE, USE IT! WE must eventually learn to live at a sustainable level anyway. Let's start now. If we continue throwing away needlessly, we can be sure it will affect future generations. This is no longer the "land of plenty" it once was. Do you want your children or grandchildren (or great-grandchildren) to inherit our mess?

Please give it a try, won't you?
Sandy Alford
Lake Sherwood, Mo.

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