At the Island County Board of Commissioners meeting on April 22 a capacity crowd of 100-plus people were on hand, primarily to discuss the rescinding of the recycling ordinance that had been passed in late December.
During the public comment period the discussion was spirited to say the least.
However, there was one common theme between the folks supporting the repeal of the recycling ordinance and those who were not.
Everyone in the room felt very passionate about the merits of recycling.
It really boiled down to whether we believe in a “nanny state” where our personal responsibility needs to be legislated, or whether individuals can take the initiative to take the time and effort to do those things that are good for Mother Earth.
Yes, there may be a certain number of senior citizens that physically find it difficult to drive to a recycling center, but the needs of these folks could be handled through a recycling hotline.
However, for the majority of us, recycling should not be about convenience.
Recycling should be done by every household because it is the right thing to do.
The argument that some of us are just too busy with children or jobs just doesn’t cut it.
Recycling should be a priority and it should be viewed as an opportunity to teach children and families that there are certain activities in life that are more important than other activities.
You would have a very hard time convincing me that a few minutes a day spent sorting out recyclables is an unacceptable burden.
Commissioner Jill Johnson said it very well when she commented, “By requiring curbside service rather than offering a voluntary service, inherently what the county is asking for is a curbside program that is subsidized by the unwilling to benefit the willing.”
Jill Johnson and Kelly Emerson should be commended for voting to repeal an onerous recycling ordinance. We all need to take responsibility for our own behavior.
There are lots of things that the county could be doing to encourage residents to embrace the merits of recycling.