Reader Sound Off: Kankakee’s recycling program

August 19, 2018 GMT

Editor’s note: Today, we introduce a new feature, “Reader Sound Off,” which allows you to offer opinions on what’s in the news. Look for it in coming weekend editions of the Daily Journal.

Last week, reporter Lee Provost told us about the recycling situation in Kankakee city, where 85 percent of the recyclable collection has been so contaminated with “regular” garbage it’s unusable.

With recycling at a crossroads as China tightens its restrictions on American garbage, the city will end neighborhood pick-up as of Sept. 1, switching to single collection sites in each of the city’s seven wards. We asked you to chime in: What do you think of the city’s decision? And would you be willing to transport your recyclables to a collection site? Answers have been edited for grammar and length.


“It’s unfortunate, but I understand why. I used to share a recycling bin with the tenants upstairs, and they always threw garbage in it, making my recycling products no longer recyclable. I ended up just taking my recycling to my parents’ house in order to make sure it was recycled. I have now moved to northern Ford County, where recycling is one day per month (which makes for a lot of saved-up recycling) but actually is able to be recycled as intended.” — Becca Eli

“When I first learned of discontinuing curbside service, I was sad. My household recycles faithfully and correctly. I have ranted everyday last week since learning this. I guess for households that do not practice recycling, it will be of no loss. My actual garbage disposal is very low weekly. I have learned during the years of recycling about 75 percent of household garbage are recycles. I will continue to recycle. Grasping a price increase and having to transport these items myself is disappointing. But, I will do so for our planet Earth. This is a sad and stinky situation.” — Diane Hollivay

“Education is key to any program being successful. You would be surprised how many people do not understand what can and cannot be recycled.” — Danielle K Sova-Reda

“The curbside pickup program has existed for a relatively short period of time and with that convenience we take for granted the labor costs of sorting and the economics of the recyclables market. If anything drop off locations may help make residents more mindful of what they’re recycling and maybe help folks be less wasteful.” — Jesse J. Arseneau


“I wish there would have been an education campaign before this was stopped.” — Ann Skelly Berns

“So, the ones who recycle are going to be punished? How about giving a receipt to those who bring their recycle trash and not raising their rates. Rates are too high, and it’s a monopoly.” — Jeannette Hiatt

“No one will want to drive their recycling somewhere else. So, ultimately, it will just result in more waste, less recycling and more challenges for the elderly and disabled.” — Jess Janisse

“Heightened education before simply ending a program should have been the first thing to do. In a day and age when convenience is a must because of the time constrictions in life, I fear many simply will choose to no longer recycle. Thus, a community leaving a more polluted world for future generations to deal with. The idea is to make progress, not take steps backwards. How long will this new recycling idea be monitored, and when will the public be made aware of its success or failure? How has it worked on other communities? Are there statistics anyone can share?” — Jennie McLean

“I won’t be hauling the recycling to some special bin in some neighborhood. Will we see a reduction in our trash bills since they are cutting services?” — Adam Phillips

“I fear there will be less people recycling because of this. Not many people will want to drag their stuff some place else just to recycle. I try to recycle everything I can. Now, depends where the drop off container is.” Melissa Eckhardt

“Why don’t they leave the recycling bins that violate and leave them a ticket or violation? It’s not fair to those of us who do recycle, and making it inconvenient for those of us who do value the recycling seems to defeat the entire purpose. I understand it may be time-consuming to begin with but if people aren’t held accountable for their actions things will never change. Can’t punish the entire city for the actions of some.” — Amanda Lopez