Recycling program's future uncertain

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - After July 1st, only a limited amount of the recycled items from Nacogdoches will end up in the Lufkin recycle center. Lufkin will only take cardboard and paper. It's a compromise to stopping the partnership all together. It's no longer cost effective to take someone else's trash. "We're probably well over half a million dollars in the red on the amount of money that we collect off of recyclables," stated Keith Wright, Lufkin assistant city manager. Lufkin sales the recycles they collect. Right now the prices are depressed. It's not cost effective to take on more when the city is having trouble selling their own.

The city of Nacogdoches is taking the opportunity to re-examine its own recycle efforts.   This isn't the first time the future of recycling has come up in Nacogdoches. It has been brought up several times because of the sporadic practice of recycling throughout town. Only 20% of the residents recycle. Those on the front line know who they are. "On the north side of town people do recycle more than the south side of the town," said Mario Morones, a sanitation worker.

Despite the low participation, few cities choose to end recycling program completely. "I think it is important to the green initiative that the city continue with some type of recycling program," expressed Jim Jeffers, Nacogdoches city manager. Jeffers is wanting to put the money normally used on the recycling program in reserve until it can be determined the best kind of program for the city. He's suggesting a centralized drop off point.

Roby Somerford, a former Keep Nacogdoches Beautiful president helped launch the city's recycle program. He knows the convenience of dropping off his blue bag at the curb may soon end, but he understands why. "Are we doing the right thing? Yes we are by recycling. Is it truly helping the environment? Yes, but on a scale not as much as we would like for it to be," said somerford. City management is confident the city will do whatever the residents are willing to pay for.

Nacogdoches residents wanting to provide their thoughts on the issue should attend tomorrow night's city commission meeting. The recycling issue is on the agenda.