A Recycled Look At The Big Picture


Yard sale fanatics know it's not always easy to recognize a bargain -- especially when it requires a costly investment up front.

Not many years ago, you may remember, one such hunter spied an ugly old painting at a flea market and paid more than she thought it was worth because she liked the frame. When she took it home and stripped the picture out to replace it, she discovered one of the original copies of the Declaration of Independence. In the end, the frame she thought she paid too much for turned out to be worth a small fortune.

Much like that framed treasure, many people in the Rim country have discarded the idea of mandatory recycling, thinking it's not worth the money. They don't see the hidden value behind the recycling picture.

Although residents would be required to pay a monthly fee for curbside recycling of newspaper, aluminum, glass and plastic, the price would be a bargain in many ways. The monthly fee must be weighed against the long-term economic and environmental savings we stand to gain.

An efficient recycling program would drastically reduce the volume of trash in the county's landfill, which is already nearing capacity. When it's time for the county to open a new landfill, it's going to cost taxpayers millions of dollars. A smart recycling program could more than double the life of our next landfill, and that's a bargain.

With a mandatory recycling program, which would likely be part of a mandatory trash pick-up program, residents would no longer have any reason to use our forests as their private dumping grounds. For years, people who have been unwilling to pay trash disposal or landfill fees have desecrated our forests with sofas, trash, mattresses and old tires.

Payson residents have invested in a number of hidden treasures, even when some town leaders failed to recognize their value. Green Valley Park and the northside fire station are good examples of hard-won facilities and services that have truly enriched our community.

When it's time for the Payson Town Council to consider a town-mandated recycling plan, we urge it to take a close look at the big picture.

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