The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

April 10, 2014

Growing Enid needs to take its recycling one step further

ENID, Okla. — Enid is a great community to call home. It’s a nice-sized city, but it’s small enough that you can participate in leadership roles if you want to make a difference.

When it comes to recycling, our city is a bit challenged. Some smaller cities have a higher participation rate regarding this environmental issue.

OES (Oklahoma Employment Services) Information Destruction and Material Recovery, a facility owned and operated by the Department of Human Services, is staffed by developmentally disabled DHS clients. It operates in partnership with the city of Enid, which owns some of the equipment there.

Enid used to collect recyclables during its regular trash routes and drop it off at OES, but discontinued the practice in 2002. Enid Public Works Director Jim McClain said it just wasn’t cost-effective for the city.

Enter Chris Feeney. He’s stepped up to the plate to serve Enid’s recycling needs.

When Feeney is not overseeing OES as director, he operates the pick-up service Keepin’ Enid Green Curbside Recycling.

At $10 per month for residential customers (or $100 a year), the business serves more than 500 homes in Enid. The materials are donated to OES for sorting and recycling.

Meanwhile, others who want to recycle also can drop off unsorted bags or boxes of materials at the Enid Recycle Center, located at 2nd and Chestnut in Frisco Park.

Is that enough recycling for Enid?

 “As progressive of a town as this is, we’re way behind. And we’re way behind most other cities in Oklahoma,” Feeney said.

Not to take anything away from Feeney’s private business, but the municipal practice of curbside recycling is not limited to major metro areas in Oklahoma. The city of Shawnee now offers curbside recycling with polycarts. A curbside recycling program also is available for Stillwater utility customers.

As Enid grows into a first-class city in Oklahoma, it must adapt to future needs. Enid Transit has faced challenges with innovation, and the city collects yard waste to turn into compost.

Let’s go one step further. We hope current and future Enid City Commission members continue to discuss recycling and seriously consider the city’s role.

The financial bottom line is relevant, but offering this service shouldn’t hinge solely on profitability. If the city can provide recycling more efficiently than the community, then it’s the right thing to do.

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