Go Green in Killeen! Reinstate Curbside Recycling and Make Changes to Recycling Program.
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According to information received from the City of Killeen, the residents of Killeen contributed a total of 53,378 TONS of trash to the landfill in the 2017 Fiscal Year (FY).
This is NOT environmentally sustainable. Our only option remains to reduce the amount of trash produced by each household, and the only two ways to do that are to reuse what we can, and to recycle what we can't.
The City of Killeen suspended its curbside recycling services for FY 2017 and FY 2018. Many city officials cited a general lack of participation in the curbside recycling program as the reason for its suspension. To that, we say this: If residents weren't recycling when these materials were conveniently picked up from their homes, how much less recycled material is being collected now that residents have no choice but to personally deliver their recyclable materials to one of the city's two drop-off locations? How many more tons of perfectly recyclable materials are ending up in the ever-expanding landfill as a result of this decision?
According to the City of Killeen’s Adopted Budget for FY 2018, found here, The Solid Waste Division’s mission is, “to collect and dispose of solid waste,” and the “mission elements” include, “Administer programs to INCREASE RECYCLING and reduce litter,” “COLLECT RECYCLABLES,” and, “Conduct at least one Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event each year.” The truth is that the fiscal year has just begun, and by choosing to not reinstate the curbside recycling program, and not revamping the entire recycling program itself, the Solid Waste division has already failed to meet two of the three “mission elements” stated in the budget.
Furthermore, their goals include “[Performing] ongoing route analysis to allow for the MOST EFFICIENT USE OF RESOURCES WHILE ENCOMPASSING THE GROWTH OF THE CITY.” How is anyone making decisions concerning “the growth of the city,”and its resources, without implementing better, more sustainable, practices when it comes to waste management and recycling?
In FY 2018, during which the curbside recycling service remains suspended, and the total staffing of the recycling department under six employees, the adopted budget is $365,537. This is over $46,000 more than the actual budget in FY 2017, and almost $24,000 more than the actual budget during FY 2016 when the curbside recycling service was readily available to participating residents. This doesn’t make economic or environmental sense! Our tax dollars will be spent one way or another, but it’s time that we stand up and demand that they are spent wisely in a way that promotes environmental sustainability in Killeen!
Our community is quickly expanding, which means that the amount of trash we produce will only grow in number. The answer is NOT suspending curbside recycling services; the answer is revamping our recycling program, expanding the number of accepted recyclable plastics, and promoting recycling as a priority, not merely entertaining it as an option.
Go Green in Killeen! Tell City Manager Ron Olson to reinstate curbside recycling services, and revamp our recycling program to make Killeen a more sustainable, and environmentally progressive community in Central Texas!
Check out this infographic to see how Killeen compares to neighboring cities.
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