Recycling Should Not Be a Burden

Ohio County commissioners were asked Tuesday to agree to a recycling program at The Highlands. They pointed out discussing the matter first with them is premature.

David Seum, president of Sunset Recycling Consultants of Wheeling, told commissioners several Highlands business people have approached him about a recycling program at the retail center.

As we reported, commissioners suggested Seum should talk first with the Ohio County Solid Waste Authority, then with the county Development Authority, which handles The Highlands.

Given the number of stores, restaurants and other businesses at The Highlands, interest in recycling is not surprising. It may be that a self-sustaining program can be set up.

But all too often, local governments that get involved in recycling find expenses outpace revenue. That puts taxpayers on the hook to keep the programs afloat. Almost always, recycling begins with solemn promises it will pay its own way, or even turn a profit. But the situation changes when it becomes difficult to find markets for recyclable goods.

If the service can be provided to businesses and, perhaps Highlands customers, without it becoming a liability, the idea is worth considering. But none of the government entities involved in The Highlands should consider a recycling project that requires major support from taxpayers.