Goshen News, Goshen, IN

December 12, 2012

Families can create a new holiday tradition


— Dixie Robinson has a good, sound idea for the holidays — recycle all that you can.

Robinson is a Goshen City Council member and in Monday’s edition she urged local residents to recycle the extra waste they produce during the holidays. And there is a lot of waste produced.

In our news story we cited a study that found an extra million tons of waste is generated each week in the United States between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. We think that with just a minimal effort, a lot of that waste can be diverted from local landfills and put back into the manufacturing stream, thus reducing the amount of original raw materials needed for producing goods.

Elkhart County residents are already doing a pretty good job of recycling their waste, according to Tim Neese, director of the Elkhart County Solid Waste District. He said about 50 percent of households in the county are recycling some items. So, we already have a good, sound base of environmental ethics in Elkhart County that we can build on to boost that percentage.

Christmas is the perfect time to commit to recycling. After all the presents are unwrapped and gifts are removed from their packages, families should take a look around their Christmas tree and consider all the paper, plastic and cardboard boxes that is destined for the county’s landfill. We think a brief investigation will reveal that some of the material can be recycled, and should be.

It make no sense to keep trucking tons and tons of recyclable waste to the county landfill. If you haven’t noticed, the landfill has been transformed from a hole in the ground to a mound that is becoming a very noticeable landmark. Without our local recycling effort, that mound would quickly become a mountain.

As Robinson pointed out, it is very easy to recycle. Simply acquire (or recycle existing boxes or trash cans) bins to collect cardboard, aluminum cans, plastics and glass jars, magazines and newspapers. Then, when they are full, take the containers to one of the many recycling sites in Elkhart County.

We hope that local families will start a new tradition this holiday season of reducing the environmental impact of their gift-giving. By beginning a recycling program this year, families will be creating an inter-generational gift that will have a positive impact on their own lives, and the lives of others for years to come.

Editor’s note: Elkhart County recycling center locations and lists of materials that can be recycled can be found online at http://www.elkhartcountyindiana.com/departments/wastemanagement/recyclingsites.htm