McMullen: Be patient with 3rd recycling location

October 16, 2012

Iím glad that the people of Sedalia have embraced their recycling center. The bins out at Thompson Hills Shopping Center always fill up quickly and during the day they canít go a few minutes without getting another dropper. Theyíre especially busy on the weekends.

The people are using them but there are some people who would like to see the program get expanded. There are some people who would like to see a third drop-off point to go along with Thompson Hills and Main Street, which are both on the west side of town.

ďI just drove eight miles to recycle in recycling bins. If the city of Sedalia canít put some recycling bins on the east side of town, Iím not going to make any more special trips over there. People over here on the east side pay taxes just like everybody else and we ought to at least have adequate access to those bins,Ē insisted one Sedline caller.

Eight miles sounds like a lot, but it is probably a fair estimate for the round trip. Itís 2.7 miles from to Bothwell Regional Health Center to Thompson Hills Shopping Center and this individual must have been even further east than that.

Thompson Hills is the epicenter of west Sedalia and there are many who seem to be almost insulted that thereís not an eastern satellite location yet. North and south can wait ó there are people from east Sedalia who demand satisfaction now.

Yes, there is something of a western Sedalia bias that has been prevalent ever since E.W. Thompson himself swore to drive business westward and it would be easy to suppose that this was another example of that.

But I donít think the bin location was chosen just because it is the crown jewel of the west. If they would have initially chosen a more eastern location they would probably still find a reason to complain: You donít want bins of recyclable waste products polluting your precious retail space.

Itís a simple fact of life: People from all Sedalia directions occasionally have to travel to that western expansion of Sedalia businesses. Theyíre shopping, working and watching movies. Most of us make regular trips to that side of town.

And I think part of the motivation for placing the bins there was that there would be many people who would already be making trips out that way. Just drop by the bins on your way to or from Walmart, or Aldi or Loweís.

I donít think the intention was for anyone to make trips to the Thompson Hills parking lot just to drop off the recycling. Hereís a tip for everyone that doesnít happen to live near the bins: Get a large cardboard box or a trash bag and collect your recyclables until the next time you happen to make it to the west side of town.

And itís not going to stink up the place, because youíre washing out your containers like Sedalia recycling center operations manager Lou Ventura suggested in this very column a few months ago, right?

Look, I live on the east side of town too and Iíd like to see a satellite location in the Woods parking lot or near Bothwell just as much as anyone else, but thereís something that we need to realize: Theyíre working on it.

Theyíve been telling us since the first batch of bins got dropped off that they intend to expand. There will be more satellite locations. Yes, the first expansion will probably be in east Sedalia. They would like to see one in every ward and I would too.

Theyíll do it when itís right and viable. They want your recyclables and even now they are working on making it easier for you to turn them in. They donít just serve the interests of west Sedalia.

Iím still proud that the city government and the Center for Human Services stepped up and saved our local recyclable processing facility and I think weíll be seeing appreciable expansion in the next few years.