It was with sadness that I read the City of Holts Summit has decided to remove recycling bins from Greenway Park. Two of those bins are owned by the city (per the News Tribune article), one of them paid for with grant funds. I believe this is a short-sighted solution to the problem of more recycling material than the bins can hold. In other words, area residents want recycling. It both reduces trash going into landfills and helps the environment.
Those bins came to be because of the efforts of Denise Oxley, who approached the city with several efforts to beautify the city. At the time, dumped trash by the side of the road was a common problem. The city placement of recycling bins greatly reduced roadside trash. At the time the bins were placed there was discussion and a plan to install cameras to catch those who dumped outside the bins. The news article doesn't indicate whether the city has contacted anyone abusing the recycling services to either provide a citation or education about proper recycling.
The news article indicates the city is spending $2,100 per month on recycling. This is $25,200 per year, not an insignificant amount of money. The City of Holts Summit's primary sources of revenue are sales and franchise fees from utilities. The sales taxes are paid by anyone, city resident or not, who shops in Holts Summit. That is why Holts Summit traditionally did not take steps to exclude non-city area residents from city parks and other amenities such as recycling. There was a time when the city was proud to be a local hub for these amenities.
It is my hope that the city will reconsider the decision to remove the recycling bins and instead begin writing educational letters to those associated with dumping, and if needed, instituting fines or community service (perhaps cleaning up trash) for repeat offenders. Another option is to also add a fourth recycling bin as the recycling program has been a success.