Sunday, August 9, 2009

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Going Green in New Orleans

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Going Green in New Orleans

Recycling is one of those concepts with which some people would associate with tree-hugging hippies. Others with do-good citizens trying to help out Planet Earth. And still more who thing we’re just plain crazy. In this post-Katrina New Orleans, recyclers are the brave few who are willing to commit their monthly income to a service we took for granted, like many other things.

If you’re of the ‘Save the Earth’ mindset, there are ways to act! Although budget cuts have shut down city run recycling centers, there are two private curb-side pickup service companies: Phoenix Recycling and SDT Waste and Debris. By paying a nominal monthly fee, these companies will pass twice a month to pick up what you set out on the curb. There are restriction to what recyclable materials will be picked up, which can be found on the website or by calling and asking. In most cases, you will be asked to pre-sort and separate, and crush when available.

One recurring complaint I’ve heard is of the cost of the curb-side service, which is much higher in post-Katrina New Orleans. Yes, it’s a bit high, but isn’t saving the planet worth it? Or, look at it this way: if you’re interested in recycling but worried about the cost, have family and friends chip in with goods and money. This way you’re guaranteed to have enough recyclables to put out and the fee gets broken down into a more manageable, and less exorbitant, amount. Another option may be to talk to your employer about starting a recycling program at work. Of course the budget may be an issue, but if you get enough people to show interest in the program there’s a good chance your employer will consider a recycling program.

I believe it is important to bring recycling back to New Orleans. It should be considered another step in the process of rebuilding and restoring our city. We have the opportunity to integrate recycling into the sanitation systems of the city as we rebuild the city, instead of leaving it as an auxiliary program that can be cut from the budget, like it has been. Recycling also teaches our young to respect the earth that we live on, which can ultimately lead to less littering and trash around the city. Recycling can bring together people in a local area for a cause which extends over a global area. it is the ultimate unifier for the salvation of Planet Earth.

Join me in the fight to save the earth. Start recycling today.