The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

April 10, 2013

Our View: People’s choice

Curbside recycling is a topic that’s been discussed in Joplin for years. Maybe its time has finally come.

The Joplin City Council agreed Monday night to hold a special election Aug. 6 on the question after hearing the results of a survey conducted by the Young Professionals Network of the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce. The survey was done at the request of the council to get an idea of the views of Joplin residents on recycling and its cost.

The council heard that 779 residents answered the survey with 81 percent of them indicating they would use curbside recycling if it were available. When the question of willingness to pay was addressed, 326 of those surveyed indicated they would pay $1 to $3 per month.

A ballot question will now be written and voted on at a May council meeting. The question will then be put before voters.

We think the council could have easily passed this by ordinance only — most council members attending the meeting support curbside recycling and a clear majority of those surveyed are in favor of the service, which, by the way, is available in almost every neighboring metro market.

 The election will cost $24,000 to $26,000. If the measure is passed, it will take another four to five months before the program is up and running.

Still, we are going to count Monday night’s action as a victory for the many people in our community who are already doing the right thing. Bravo, by the way, to Young Professionals Network members who have worked for months on this project making sure they got a diverse sampling for the survey.

It will be important for community members to respond in August with their vote.

The ball is now in the people’s court.

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