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OPINION

Ready to start recycling again in Pratt

Brandon Case

It’s not until the local recycling center has been closed for several weeks that one realizes how much packaging encompasses modern American life.

I don’t know about you, but the mound of recyclable material stored in our garage is growing exponentially. For those who recall Stephen Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind back in the 1970s, that movie is giving me some ideas for what to do with the mass of plastic, cardboard, glass containers and the like.

There is a good chance that the Pratt County Recycling Center will reopen on May 5, if the governor’s stay at home order is not extended, according to Jason Winkel, who oversees local landfill and recycling operations. Winkel, however, added a caveat: “that would be the choice of the county commissioners.”

Hopefully, it will not be necessary to extend the stay at home order any longer, and our garages will be liberated from serving as recyclable holding pens.

One place you may currently recycle in Pratt, your aluminum cans at least, is in the southeast corner of the former Alco parking lot at Jackson and Second St. The Pratt Area Humane Society currently has a large trailer parked there.

Also, the City of Greensburg now has recycling bins for its citizens to use.

Recycling is a good thing, not only due to the space it saves in landfills but also because it repurposes this material. It’s kind of sad to realize that by the time you read this Earth Day will have come and gone, without anywhere to recycle even a single plastic bottle. It’s also sad to note that while the United States represents only 4% of the world’s population, we typically produce 12% of the world’s municipal solid waste. That’s according to a September 2019 article in The Guardian, which also noted that the US recycles 35% of its waste, compared to the most efficient country, Germany, which recycles 68%.

Those are some facts and figures to ponder as you observe your own growing pile of plastics, packaging and other paraphernalia, waiting for the day when they’ll finally be liberated from your home or garage.