How Residents Engaged and Saved Lucas Recycling
If you rewound time to 8 months ago and asked a local, “do you equate Lucas, Texas, with recycling?” I doubt they’d agree. “Heck, no” would probably be the response. If you would’ve asked me then what I thought I’d be doing now, recycling advocate would not have made my top 100 list of guesses, but since April, opinion and fact have been inverted. Lucas has proven full of engaged recyclers who have said resoundingly that curbside recycling matters, and I am a full, newly fledged recycling advocate standing with them.
After learning last spring that Lucas would lose its curbside recycling program on October 1, 2017 (without a replacement offered), the resident-led-grassroots group, Save Lucas Recycling, began. What followed were months of research, presentations to the Lucas City Council, hundreds of supporters, 3 months of door-to-door canvassing, pages upon pages of petition sheets with signatures, and finally a success. On January 18, 2018, City Council unanimously voted to reinstate twice-a-month, subscription-based curbside recycling service with Republic Allied Waste.
As much as I cheer council’s decision to reinstate our service, I want them to go farther. We are ready for more. It’s time for city-wide, weekly recycling pick-up. This newly mindful recycling community is capable of so much more than this basic recycling program. We are ready to set the standard for green, country living. Yes, it’s wonderful to have a curbside program that provides the collection of basic glass, paper, cardboard, aluminum, but many local communities are now recycling the above and then some—setting the bar for a new standard.
These innovative towns are not those of far off coastal states. They are programs our neighboring towns already participate in. Aubrey, Little Elm, Corinth, The Colony, Lancaster, Bedford, Haltom City, Richland Hills, and Plano all offer curbside soft textile pick-up, and with the EPA estimating an average of 70 lbs of clothing per person being landfilled each year, who can blame them? Many of these same towns are also instituting curbside collection of brush waste, mulching or composting it, and keeping it out of the landfill.
What we have accomplished with our recycling movement is the first steps of many. Our engagement doesn’t end with merely a basic curbside program. There is an ever fixed goal that continues by not only acknowledging our successes but continuously asking, what’s next?
Victoria Howard is a Lucas resident and the creator of Save Lucas Recycling. She can be reached by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org or by joining Save Lucas Recycling on Facebook and Twitter.
Caption: Lovejoy Environmental Club canvassed door to door collecting signatures with Save Lucas Recycling.