Recycling in Amarillo May Change

Jacob Breeden
Jacob Breeden
Dusty McGuire, Keep Amarillo Beautiful
Dusty McGuire, Keep Amarillo Beautiful

A public forum in city hall has residents debating if Amarillo is doing enough to cut down the city's carbon footprint.

The city has been in the business of recycling for more than a decade... But some want more.

And while they have a good argument... So do those who say not so fast.

Those wanting more say it's not about getting certain demands met.

Jacob Breeden says, "Everything has the potential to be recycled and of course we want to see that. If curbside turns out to be the most efficient and sustainable way for Amarillo to do it than that would be something to see. If it turns out that education is our end goal and the most efficient way for us to take the least amount of waste and bury it in the ground, than I would be ok with that too."

Currently the city recycles brush, paper, and some other goods.. But not plastics or glass.

Dusty McGuire with Keep Amarillo Beautiful says, "Plastics seem to just drive everyone crazy and I think, I'm not sure what the percentage is now but it's pretty close to just one percent that goes into the landfill. All of these other things need to be recycled, we have building waste, we have all of this yard waste."

The idea sounds like a good one... But it costs to have someone pick up the goods and transport them to a plant to break down... Those are hours away.

Amarillo City Commissioner Madison Scott says, "Some of those are very expensive that's what we are trying to be mindful too. It can be cost prohibitive and then the city can't do it at all."

Mayor Debra McCartt says,  "We also have constraints as a city that we have to put on ourself and the commission because any new services we bring to the community have cost involved with it."

Other scares involve the fact that the market for recyclables has drastically dropped in some products. Something some green go-ers say should not matter.

Breeden says, "We can't say that the market is going to stay one way forever, like we can say that buy burying our garbage we are ruining our land forever."

The City Commission will be returning with options and plans for the future of recycling in the city on January 20th.