The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

December 21, 2012

Recycling center in Enid is much needed, but plans for location have hit snag

ENID, Okla. — The average American uses 650 pounds of paper each year and the nation as a whole uses 2.5 million plastic bottles each hour.

About 80 percent of what Americans throw away is recyclable, but our recycling rate is only 28 percent.

For Enid residents, recycling has been something of a challenge in recent years. At one point, there were three drop-off locations for recyclables, one on the east side, one on the west and the main recycling center on North Van Buren.

But a tornado in the summer of 2007 destroyed the main center, and left local residents without an opportunity to recycle until the next February.

The new location, in the southwest corner of the parking lot west of Convention Hall, was smaller, but still got a lot of use, or it did until it was closed last August because of construction on the downtown Renaissance Project.

The recycling center then was supposed to move to 300 N. Grand only a few weeks later.

However, that plan hit a snag when it was discovered the tenant who had leased the city-owned property at the corner of Grand and Elm refused to vacate.

That dispute currently is in court and the recycling center has been temporarily moved adjacent to the entrance to the Enid landfill, at 1313 E. Southgate.

But just this week, assistant city attorney Jen O’Steen said the North Grand location was never intended to be a permanent solution.

For local residents who are serious about recycling, it’s a bit like a protracted game of hide and seek.

We applaud the city for at least working to find temporary homes for the recycling center despite some unforeseen obstacles.

But we would urge the city to find a permanent home for the recycling center as soon as possible, preferably one closer to the center of town than the landfill.

Many Enid residents believe in the importance of recycling, but have become discouraged by the frequent change in the city center’s location, not to mention the distance out to the landfill.

Wherever it turns out to be, we urge the city to quickly find and establish a permanent location for the recycling center. It’s time to end the game of hide and seek.

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