In last week's paper, a resident at the Wesminster City Council meeting was quoted as saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" about our trash/recycling system.
Initially, I thought it wasn't broken either, but after reviewing the facts, our system is broken and ineffective and the problem will get bigger as more people move to this area, landfills fill up and costs rise.
The city's website reports that our residents recycle 11 percent compared to 34 percent nationally, there are up to six trucks tearing up the neighborhood streets every day, and non-HOA (Homeowners Association) residents are paying 47 percent or more for services than HOA residents.
Currently, recycling costs more and the drop-off centers are inconvenient, which makes it harder for residents to recycle. Implementing a system that is convenient and costs less offers a solution. It also decreases noise, pollution, traffic, and wear and tear on roads - other valid concerns.
One approach is to say "hands off," but do we really win? We pay more, we send more recyclables to landfills, and we deal with all the problems mentioned above. Could we work collaboratively with our city representatives and trash haulers to create a solution?
Why wait until the problem becomes critical? Golden, Louisville and seven other Colorado cities have already been through this process, and we can benefit from their experience and learn best practices.
I would like to thank the City Council and staff for being responsive to residents' needs for a cheaper, more sustainable system that is in line with the values of Westminster and for doing this with thoughtfulness, inclusiveness and transparency.