Recycle: At Least We Have Operation Christmas Clean-Up


Madison Tanner and Sarah Ewing

Tomorrow, Madison residents can drop off their Christmas trees, many boxes, and electronics at the Madison City Schools stadium at 211 Celtic Drive from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. This is a combination effort between the Solid Waste Disposal Authority, the Recycling Alliance of North Alabama, Operation Green Team, City of Huntsville, City of Madison, and Madison County.

Because the holiday season tends to produce more waste, this endeavor will help alleviate the limited space in residents’ bins.

In Madison, a new recycling system was put into action in August. The system changed from a weekly pickup to a monthly pickup. To accommodate this large time span, new, larger bins were given to Madison residents who wanted one. 

There are several issues with this system. First, if residents miss one pickup, they wind up with two months of recycling. Second, Madison residents can no longer recycle glass. Most people just throw their glass in the trash now, or if your sophomore Sydney Wilson, you “go to the Rage Room and break the glass.”

Mayor Finley came to talk to Patriot Pages staff members on a variety of issues earlier in the year. In our interview with the mayor, we asked him about the Madison recycling situation and why the city changed its policy. 

The answer? Financial issues.

Mayor Finley stated, “The waste management group changed companies because financially they had to.” 

The company responsible for the recycling system was losing money providing this service. It reached a point where it simply was not sustainable. To solve this issue, the recycling system had to be changed. “They got bigger recycling bins and they said we’ll come around once every 4 weeks instead of once every week, and that means that their labor costs go down and they can try to continue to make money.”

This new system is not without its flaws, though the old system wasn’t either. Mayor Finely stated that “out of all the things that have happened this year, there is no question we get more calls about [recycling.]”

He added, “For most people, the previous system was working well, but for the people actually doing it, it was not working well. Recycling is not a moneymaker.” 

When given additional opportunities to recycle, residents will hopefully take advantage of them.