Public to decide future of curbside recycling

Recycle Joplin Campaign to be decided by voters

Recycle Joplin Campaign to be decided by voters

Joplin’s contracted trash pickup service may soon undergo some changes, and all Joplin residents who use the service could be affected by it.

Proposition A, which will come to a public vote on April 8, poses the question of whether or not Joplin’s trash-pickup service provider should offer curbside recycling in addition to trash pickup.

According to Katherine Hower, campaign chair for Young Professionals Network’s Recycle Joplin campaign, the vote will not be the final word on the issue, but is instead intended to allow Joplin residents a chance to express their own opinion on the matter, which will be factored in to the city’s decision.

“It’s an advisory vote only,” said Hower. “They want to hear the voice of Joplin residents; they want to know what Joplin residents want and then, at that point, whether Joplin residents say ‘yes, this is something that we want’ or ‘no, this is something that we don’t want.”

Proposition A first came to be after the Citizens Advisory Recovery Team (CART) held a series of public meetings where the issue of curbside recycling was commonly addressed. According to Hoyer, the actual Recycle Joplin campaign group that kick-started the movement for a public vote addressing the issue formed as a subgroup of the Young Professionals Network after members expressed a similar interest in curbside recycling.

“[The Young Professionals Network] sent out a survey to all of their members asking how they felt we could improve the community during the rebuilding process, and curbside recycling was something that the network as a whole felt was important for improving the community,” said Hoyer. “So, in return, Recycle Joplin was a subgroup that was created and our main focus was to work with the city council and work with the community to try and get curbside recycling on the ballot, and that’s what we’ve been doing for almost the last three years.”

According to Lynn Onstot, public information officer for the city of Joplin, if the proposition is passed, all residents within the Joplin city limits would receive a new polycart from the city’s trash pickup service provider to use for recyclable materials such as newspapers, phone books, magazines, cardboard and fiberboard, metal cans and plastic bottles. Items that should not be placed in the recycling polycarts include glass, soiled paper or cardboard — like napkins and pizza boxes — and any other kind of trash, such as food waste, diapers, and hygiene items.

Residents would then set out their recycling polycarts with their trash polycarts on the designated pickup day every other week. Trash pickup days will continue to be weekly.

Those who do not wish to use the recycling service would still receive the recycling polycart and would still be charged the service fee.

All residents would be encouraged to hold on to the new polycarts, regardless of whether they actually use them.

The public information office also says that even if the curbside recycling program does go into effect, the Joplin Recycling Center will still remain open for residents to take any recyclable materials that would not be accepted by the curbside program and for those who live outside Joplin city limits.

For more information regarding Proposition A, residents are encouraged to contact Onstot at (417) 624-0820, ext. 204.