The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

June 10, 2013

Your View: Hard to figure

By Bob Steere
Special to The Globe

JOPLIN, Mo. — Frequently, we blame our national and state legislators for our national and local problems because they are either sheeplike, unquestionably following their party’s leadership, or vote however they have to to get themselves re-elected. It seems more difficult to figure out the reasoning employed by the Joplin City Council.

For instance, one wonders what caused the council not to pass an ordinance making curbside recycling available to the residents of Joplin. Does the council not appreciate the environmental value of recycling? Is $3.03 per month too expensive, or is there some other reason lodged in the craws of our council members?

Years ago, I spent one term on the Joplin Solid Waste Commission, during which I periodically brought curbside recycling to the agenda. The respected member representing the City Council continually convinced the majority to vote unfavorably for curbside recycling in favor of the present-day drop off center. That stance of the council apparently lingers today.

The drop-off center limits the quantity of waste being recycled because the one location is inconvenient and costly from both a transportation and a time expense.

Recommendation: Council members, step up and vote favorably for curbside recycling. Join the many other cities of our nation and world that are concerned about waste. If you retort that $3.03 per month places too large of a burden on homeowners, then subsidize it from your budgetary expenditures. Yes, indeed, this may mean changing some of your expenditures.

Let’s see now, $13,916 per month to lease ground for a new library and movie house (undecided by the voters) divided by $3.03 per month would fund curbside recycling for 4,592 Joplin homes.

The council, on its own, can obligate the city to large expenditures, but it cannot even find five votes to pass a curbside recycling ordinance.

My, oh my.

Bob Steere