Although Patagonia’s recycling operations are suspended during the pandemic, the Recycling Task Force, with Town Manager Ron Robinson’s participation, has continued to meet via Zoom to develop a plan for restarting the program when restrictions are eased.
At the group’s April 11 meeting, Robinson informed the task force that the county will be purchasing and installing new receptacles designed to receive both #1 and #2 plastics and corrugated cardboard, but also to make it difficult for people to place improper items in those receptacles. He also said the town will consider instituting fines for improper dumping at the recycling station, which is the major reason most of the materials placed in the recycling trailers in recent months wound up in the landfill. The program’s restart date will depend not only on when the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, but also on when the market for the recycled materials is reestablished.
Robinson reported that the recycling would be reinstated at its previous location behind the post office and that the county has offered to provide fencing and other assistance to effectively restrict access to the facility to reduce the improper dumping that has plagued past operations. The task force is also discussing the possibility of recruiting volunteers to help ensure that the receptacles are being used properly.
To educate the community about guidelines for recycling, the task force has created an education and outreach subcommittee, chaired by Robin Kulibert. This group will design a campaign to inform the community about proper recycling and to reenergize the community’s commitment to recycling.
Since Santa Cruz County has suspended all recycling activities, the task force members discussed interim measures individuals could take to continue recycling until a local program is reestablished.
Kulibert received permission from the City of Tucson for us to take our recyclables to their neighborhood recycling stations, which are scattered around the city. Therefore, the task force recommends this alternative rather than throwing recyclables away.
People who have other engagements in Tucson might consider offering to take recyclables for friends and neighbors. Or people could coordinate a local collection and occasional transport to Tucson.
For those who have the space and the inclination, temporarily storing recyclable items until our recycling is again up and running is another option.
The next task force meeting will be held via Zoom at 10:30 a.m. on May 9. Anyone interested in attending, or in joining the education and outreach subcommittee, should contact Bob Brandt (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Robin Kulibert (email@example.com) to receive the Zoom invitation.