Important issues are often those everyone knows about but aren't dealt with. Such is the case with loss of household recycling in Douglas County. More garbage in the cans means increased out of pocket disposal costs. More garbage in the landfill stresses an already overburdened placement system for solid waste removal. More people dumping their garbage and tires along our streets and forest BLM roads is not only illegal but unsightly.
According to cityofroseburg.org, the Douglas County Landfill still accepts corrugated cardboard, aluminum, tin, scrap metal, batteries, and oil; not much relief for the type of recycling most domestic households produce. Some grocery stores like Sherms, Albertsons, and Fred Meyer still accept clean plastic produce bags.
This still leaves the unsustainable method of using our landfill to take up the slack for what used to be recycled.
As a citizen, what can be done?
1. Contact recycling liaison Commissioner Chris Boice, 541-440-4201 ext. 2 and make your opinion and ideas known. I suggest asking what is stopping Douglas County from developing its own recycling industry, creating jobs. "We are looking into it" is too vague an answer.
2. Remember to bring reusable totes and bags when and wherever you buy things. Sherms even gives a 5¢ credit for each grocery bag customers bring to use. With the exception of cardboard boxes, Costco doesn't even supply extra packaging for purchases.
Over the years, Douglas County has experienced many economic setbacks, and the loss of recycling is just another of many backward steps. Make your opinion heard by your elected officials. Demand progress.