Some people say recycling is too much of a hassle, while others wonder if Sedgwick County should be doing more to encourage it. The county lags far behind the national recycling average.
Once a week, David Lies hits the pavement to pick up recyclables. His trash company offers a curbside recycling service for three dollars a month. All the money goes towards operation costs. Lies began his recycling program ten years ago, but only five percent of his customers recycle.
County Commissioner Tim Norton says Sedgwick County spent $200,000 last year on an advertising campaign to increase recycling. Within a year, the county pulled the ads because they were not working. Last December, commissioners voted down for a second time a bill that would require people to pay for curbside recycling even if they didn't use it.
Nearby cities are finding mandatory recycling works for them. Newton's program is in its third year. Newton Public Works Director Suzanne Loomis says they have reduced the trash stream by about 20 percent.
Sedgwick County has no immediate plans to implement mandatory recycling. Commissioners say the key to a successful recycling program is generating a market for recyclables in Wichita. They say the county needs to tackle the issue of another landfill before coming up with a plan for recycling.
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