Our view: Take care of Craig

City officials have taken proactive measures to bring a recycling center to Craig, and we think this is an excellent alternative to dumping recyclable materials in the county landfill.

The idea certainly isn't new to the rest of the country, but it is new to our area and won't be without its challenges.

Convenience is the key to a successful recycling effort, and the city is doing as much as possible to make the facility convenient -- obvious signs indicate what items are accepted, and residents can drop off their items 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Residents, too, need to do their part . That means taking advantage of the service that's offered. A heavily used facility is the key to the future establishment of convenient curbside pick-up for recyclables. Many Craig residents have said they would be much more likely to recycle if they could do it from home.

The idea of taking newspapers, plastic bottles and cardboard to the curb, along with your household trash, is appealing, but it will work only if Moffat County residents use the current facility, respect it and are willing to invest the time, effort and, inevitably, money for more convenience. Curbside trash pick-up isn't free, and curb-side recycling won't be, either.

But, that's down the road.

For now, residents need to show they can comply with the regulations about the service they have.

We applaud the city for undertaking this project even though it was unbudgeted, and we think that Craig residents should take the time to use the facility properly. If bottle caps aren't allowed, then don't throw them in the containers. If certain plastics aren't allowed, don't get lazy and pitch them in the container anyway.

If the facility is abused and becomes more of a burden than a benefit, it, too, will go by the wayside, and we'll be back at square one.

Besides, when a load is contaminated -- fluorescent paper mixed with white or plastic bottles deposited with the lids still on -- the whole purpose of recycling has been defeated. The entire load -- including the items dumped by people who took the time to sort their plastic -- must be taken to the landfill.

While the city works to determine how best to educate residents about the dos and don'ts of the new recycling center, residents need to take the time to visit the facility, learn the ropes and use it wisely. It might be inconvenient the first time, but we all know that nothing worth doing is easy.

Take care of Craig. The city is giving all residents the opportunity to better manage precious resources, and we encourage everyone to take advantage.

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