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As a Westminster resident, pediatrician, and mother, I care about making our city a clean and healthy place to live for our families. That is why I am writing to support the city's efforts for changing our trash and recycling collection services. This is an environmental initiative, but it is also a public health issue as fewer garbage trucks on our streets will mean safer streets and less pollution for our children.
Currently, residents living in communities with homeowner's associations (HOAs) receive lower rates on trash pickup and recycling because the HOAs are able to contract for these rates. Also, trash and recycling are picked up the same day throughout the area, resulting in greater efficiency and less impact on our roads.
The proposed system for trash removal would allow curbside recycling for all residents. Our current recycling rates are only 11 percent, way below the national average of 34 percent. Westminster claims to have a commitment to the environment. If so, then improving recycling rates in our city is of utmost importance.
This proposal has been accused of being against small trash haulers. This is not true. The city will be divided into three sections so local haulers can compete. And the bidding process will give preference to small companies.
Our current system of recycling is unfair, bad for the environment and bad for the health of our city. Please join me in supporting a city trash program that will help Westminster move forward into a healthy and sustainable future.
Sheela Mahnke, MD
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