By Tia Lynn Ivey
Revamping the recycling process in the City of Madison is a top priority for City Councilwoman Chris Hodges. The cost of recycling is on the rise, as is litter and improper recycling throughout the city and Hodges wants city leaders to take the lead in partnering with the community to reduce single-use plastic products and educating the public on how to recycle correctly.
“Litter and recycling are big, passionate issues for me…We need to be the progressive city that we are,” said Hodges to Mayor Fred Perriman and her fellow council members at last Friday’s work session. “We can do our duty in protecting our little corner of the universe.”
Hodges asked city staff to look into revisiting the city’s current contract with its recycling vendor in addition to finding “creative ways” to cut down on plastic bags and other plastic use as well as engaging the community to learning how to properly recycle.
Christine McCauley Watts, director of the Madison-Morgan Conservancy (MCC), spoke to the Madison Mayor and City Council about recycling and how other counties in Georgia handle this problematic issue. Watts suggested the city partner with Morgan County to streamline recycling services and unify standards across the board so city residents and county residents can follow the same recycling procedures.
Watts noted how the public can help improve recycling.
“It’s important that everything stays loose, dry and clean when put out on the street,” said Watts. “That won’t help reduce fees right away, but in the long run it will help.”
Hodges wants to work with local stores to encourage switching from plastic bags to biodegradable bags and encouraging shoppers to use reusable tote bags.
“Plastic is what’s killing our environment,” said Hodges.
The council will revisit how to take proactive measures as city staff reviews recycling vendor options and other recycling promotion initiatives.