Even before the City of Savannah began disclosing the details of its single stream curbside recycling program late last year, the complaints started rolling in. Additional grumbling ensued after the launch of the program earlier this month. From insistence that the program should pay for itself to griping about the color and size of the carts to fretting about the environmental impact of the trucks that would collect the materials, Vox Populi callers and message board posters and letter to the editor writers took their shots.
Most of these critics, it appeared to me, were subjecting the recycling program to rigorous criteria I doubt they would apply to any other local government activity or service.
Are they outraged that the Truman Parkway is not generating a profit? Of course not. Are their aesthetic sensibilities, so offended by the the recycling carts, similarly aggravated by dreadful streetscapes, invasive billboards or eviscerated tree canopies? They probably didn’t notice. Are the folks concerned about the carbon footprint of the recycling collection trucks also worrying about local parking and transportation projects that encourage automobile use? Don’t be silly.
No, recycling is held to a higher standard that is conveniently relaxed when it comes to almost everything else our local governments do. Me, I had only one expectation of the recycling program: that it would happen. And yesterday, one 311 report, one phone call to the recycling center and more than two weeks after the scheduled pick up date, the contents of my completely full recycling cart were collected. Things can only get better.