Follow Up To Recycling Town Hall Meeting

The recent Town Hall meeting on recycling was a success. I was very happy with the way the meeting progressed. Interesting perspectives and good ideas abound. And passion. The attendees were very respectful of each other and of the City and that was very much appreciated. It is clear there is a solid core of recycling advocates who believe they can convert the rest of the community. And I believe they may be right. The City Team will now process this input and begin working with the sanitation industry to hopefully take a step in the right direction. As promised, the City is happy to accommodate the further exchange of ideas and notions around a recycling culture. Please carry forward your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions by commenting on the blog. Respectfully, please.

We appreciate all of the great feedback!

Best Regards,

 

Mayor Jeff Bloemker

 

Comments

Effingham is in desperate need of curbside recycling. The current system (one place in town to drop off recyclables; the bins are always full) is not working. I would gladly pay more taxes in order to have curbside pickup.

Thank you again for calling the special meeting. It was a good, much-needed start. Couple questions, and I don't want to sound pushy, but every single day, many times a day I am reminded that there is one very over-taxed place - thank you - Centenary United Methodist Church - to take a few, mixed household recyclables in a town that I feel in very many other ways is progressive. -Will the city be utilizing the list of emails collected at the meeting to form a committee to further discuss this issue, or was that handed over to a private individual? Just wondering from where I can expect that email. -Will you be posting updates about progress involving this issue, for instance when you will meet with those in the industry? If so, on which social media platform? -Does the city have a person on staff who will research recycling best practices and look for grants? Or is that job up to private individuals? -Kindly share with us the web address of the place in Indiana with the fantastic recycling methods as mentioned in the meeting. -And most importantly: While a long-term solution is being determined, can the city and county work together to find a way to fund the recycling bins at Kluthe or find the means to create another recycling drop-off point somewhere in the county within the next two months? I'm looking forward to seeing a solution to this problem very soon. Thank you, Joanna Davies

We will type up the volunteered emails addresses and make them available on request. I like the idea of creating a grassroots citizens advisory committee - more to come on that soon. The City will be researching funding and service models. We'll be reaching out to the service providers to determine who is interested, what they can do, when they can do it, and how it can be subsidized. We'll try to offer updates on this effort via this forum and the local media. Thank You for your passion at making Effingham a great town!

Thank you Mr. Mayor for hosting the town hall meeting about recycling last week. We really appreciate everything you and the city officials do for our community, especially moving forward to address the recycling problem. Centenary United Methodist Church is proud to be stewards of God's earth by providing recycling bins for the community. We do NOT make money from the recyclables that people put in the recycling bins. We glady accept donations from people to help support our program. Donations made be mailed to Centenary United Methodist Church, 203 East Grove Ave., Effingham, IL 62401. Thank you!

Hello Mr. Mayor. I recently read in the paper that you hosted a town hall meeting regarding recycling. While I was unable to attend, I am glad to know that the topic is being discussed and researched. I just moved back to Effingham after 14 years of living in cities where curbside recycling was and still is the norm. After just a couple of months being back, I have seen how much this town has grown. The new public library has been a frequent stop each week where I have very much enjoyed taking children to their storytime and S.T.E.M. programs. The Workman Sports Complex is an excellent facility for people to get in shape and maintain a healthy lifestyle and the Firefly Grill has a savory, organic and locally grown menu that you can feel good about eating while enjoying the beautiful views. I am also proud to see so many local, small businesses like Fresh Digs and the multitude of shops on and around Jefferson Avenue that give our community a variety of shopping options. For my bridal shower I absolutely loved my experience of having a paint party at Stang Arts and look forward to future creative opportunities there. With all of this progress in our community (as well as numerous others), it is mind-boggling to me that it is 2016 and this town still does not recycle. My family has been bringing our recyclables to the Methodist Church as long as it has been made available. Whenever I have come to visit through the years, I have made an effort to collect anything that could be recycled and assisted in transporting items to their designated receptacles. Now that I live here, I bring items from multiple houses to ensure that more people are recycling. While I am grateful to this church for providing this service, it is not enough. The bins are almost always full and they do not accept all possible items to be recycled. The people of Effingham and the future of our environment need more. I understand that curbside pickup may not be a financial possibility for the City of Effingham at this time (I would happily pay a monthly fee just like we do for trash pickup), but we at least need more receptacles made available to those of us who do wish to recycle. Even better, it would be great to have a recycle center. Many cities have the option for individuals to bring items to recycle centers in exchange for refunds, which are great motivators for recycling. These can be private or public facilities. I know that recycling is not exactly a profitable thing in the short term, but in the long term it is profitable in even more important ways by decreasing the sizes of landfills, the amount of pollutants going into the air and groundwater and the amounts of resources that we waste every day that we buy or use something new instead of something that can be used again. Please...create a team of researchers...investigate our options and find some ways to make more opportunities for recycling in this town. It is our responsibility to each other and our environment to make this effort as soon as possible. I'm sure there are some government subsidies or something along those lines to get the ball rolling. You know Meals on Wheels? I would happily take a shift each week to pickup recycling from other people's houses if that meant that less trash was going to the curb. Please let me know of any way I can help with this issue. Thanks for your time and consideration of this matter. Sincerely, Lauren Sleeper

Great letter, Lauren. Welcome home! As we continue to peel back the layers of issues around this topic, it is becoming clear we may need to take a baby step. That may be trying to get more recycling containers placed around town, as you mention. We'll continue to research options and we may try to partner with our friends at the County to see how we can take that initial baby step.

Hello Mr. Mayor. I recently read in the paper that you hosted a town hall meeting regarding recycling. While I was unable to attend, I am glad to know that the topic is being discussed and researched. I just moved back to Effingham after 14 years of living in cities where curbside recycling was and still is the norm. After just a couple of months being back, I have seen how much this town has grown. The new public library has been a frequent stop each week where I have very much enjoyed taking children to their storytime and S.T.E.M. programs. The Workman Sports Complex is an excellent facility for people to get in shape and maintain a healthy lifestyle and the Firefly Grill has a savory, organic and locally grown menu that you can feel good about eating while enjoying the beautiful views. I am also proud to see so many local, small businesses like Fresh Digs and the multitude of shops on and around Jefferson Avenue that give our community a variety of shopping options. For my bridal shower I absolutely loved my experience of having a paint party at Stang Arts and look forward to future creative opportunities there. With all of this progress in our community (as well as numerous others), it is mind-boggling to me that it is 2016 and this town still does not recycle. My family has been bringing our recyclables to the Methodist Church as long as it has been made available. Whenever I have come to visit through the years, I have made an effort to collect anything that could be recycled and assisted in transporting items to their designated receptacles. Now that I live here, I bring items from multiple houses to ensure that more people are recycling. While I am grateful to this church for providing this service, it is not enough. The bins are almost always full and they do not accept all possible items to be recycled. The people of Effingham and the future of our environment need more. I understand that curbside pickup may not be a financial possibility for the City of Effingham at this time (I would happily pay a monthly fee just like we do for trash pickup), but we at least need more receptacles made available to those of us who do wish to recycle. Even better, it would be great to have a recycle center. Many cities have the option for individuals to bring items to recycle centers in exchange for refunds, which are great motivators for recycling. These can be private or public facilities. I know that recycling is not exactly a profitable thing in the short term, but in the long term it is profitable in even more important ways by decreasing the sizes of landfills, the amount of pollutants going into the air and groundwater and the amounts of resources that we waste every day that we buy or use something new instead of something that can be used again. Please...create a team of researchers...investigate our options and find some ways to make more opportunities for recycling in this town. It is our responsibility to each other and our environment to make this effort as soon as possible. I'm sure there are some government subsidies or something along those lines to get the ball rolling. You know Meals on Wheels? I would happily take a shift each week to pickup recycling from other people's houses if that meant that less trash was going to the curb. Please let me know of any way I can help with this issue. Thanks for your time and consideration of this matter. Sincerely, Lauren Sleeper

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