Convenience of Concern

by Melissa Brunner

With Earth Day recently passed, we received an update Thursday on Shawnee County's efforts to provide curbside recycling service. They plan to launch in January, and should be bringing Commissioners a request for a conditional use permit in the weeks ahead. It would allow construction to get underway on a facility to process the recyclables.

I took a trip to our breakroom after I read that information to find a coworker flipping aluminum cans out of a trash can and into the aluminum can recycling bin we have placed there. He joked that, apparantly, some people still hate the environment. But we got to talking about how a little inconvenience can keep us from doing something we don't necessarily oppose. Case in point - the city of Topeka recently put a recycling bin right next to the trash can under each workers desk. They've already seen a huge reduction in trash. It's not that they didn't have office recycling before - it's just that you might have to walk down the hall to put your materials in the recycling bin.

You might chalk it up to the same human nature that has you circling the parking lot to find the closest spot. Is it really that tough for most of us to walk a few extra steps to get inside the store? Is it really that tough to walk your aluminum can to the bin down the hall? Not really, but it sure might save a few seconds!

It's the train of thought that has had Shawnee County Refuse Director Steve Bolton so passionate about bringing curbside recycling to Shawnee County. Sure, the county has drop off bins all around town, but If it's there anyway - right at your doorstep - you might be more inclined to use it.

What do you think? Does a little inconvenience keep you from recycling (I admit - I wouldn't dream of putting an aluminum can in the trash at home, but a few have ended up in the can under my desk!)? What advice do you have to make it more of a habit?


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