Clewiston’s Public Works director calls on residents to recycle

CLEWISTON — “We come up with every excuse in the book not to do something,” said Clewiston’s Public Works Director Sean Scheffler.

That statement rings true for many things — exercising, eating healthy, finishing the home improvements that were started last year and never completed. But besides those resolution-worthy “somethings,” Scheffler hopes the residents of Hendry County will take on recycling as their next “to do.”
The city of Clewiston has been working hard to make recycling as easy as possible for residents. Though curb-side pickup is a thing of the future for residents within the city limits, the city of Clewiston offers two recycling centers on E. Esperanza Avenue and S. Olympia Street.The city has also introduced “single-stream recycling,” meaning residents no longer have to sort through their recycling; glass bottles, aluminum cans, cardboard, paper and plastic can all be thrown in the same bin, both at home and at the recycling centers. Though many of the city’s recycling bins say “plastics only” or “cardboard only” they are all mixed recycling bins. The same applies to the glass recycling bins: residents can choose to sort the glass by color and put it in the separate bin, or put it together in the mixed recycling bin.
Scheffler also explained that residents do not need to worry whether, for example, a plastic container has a recycling symbol on the bottom, or whether that symbol carries a number 1, 2 or 6. It can all be recycled, said Scheffler, no matter the number and no matter the symbol.
Though efforts to make recycling simpler and more convenient for city residents have been made, Scheffler said a change in attitude and habit is necessary to make recycling part of everyone’s daily routine.
“Recycling is something parents need to do so small children see it as a way of life,” said Scheffler. “We need to start developing a thought process in our children.”
Scheffler gave the example of seat belts in cars and trucks. When he was in elementary school, Scheffler said there were no seat belts in cars; and when every car finally came equipped with seat belts, it was not mandatory to wear them, therefore, people often did not. After years of pushing to mandate the use of seat belts and a change in the attitude of drivers and passengers, it is second nature to “click it” when they get in the car.
Scheffler believes recycling will work the same way.
“We can reduce by 80 percent the amount of solid waste sent to our landfills by recycling,” said Scheffler.
Scheffler also offered suggestions to make recycling easier for families. Batteries, for example, are abundant in everyone’s home and are usually thrown out without another thought. Scheffler suggests keeping a sturdy bucket underneath the kitchen sink or near the washing machine (or any place that is convenient for the family) and putting the batteries in the bucket when they die. Once the bucket becomes full, simply call the county to set up a time to bring the batteries to the household recycling center.
By Melissa Beltz
The Clewiston News
Updated January 23, 2014
Written by ovpadmin