To the Editor:
I’m responding to the letter written by Mary Alice Jacob Masonick about recycling at the annual Pumpkin Run in Sycamore.
For years I’ve been collecting aluminum cans to recycle as a benefit for Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County. On numerous occasions I’ve been allowed to set up specially designed and marked recycle containers at area community and church events to collect empty cans from event goers.
I no longer do that. Why? When I retrieved the containers, they were at least half filled with garbage, including dirty diapers, used Kleenex tissues and half eaten hot dogs. This occurred despite the fact that my recycle containers had a restricting round hole in the top, I had written “aluminum cans only” on the top of the containers, and they were placed right next to garbage cans. Upon retrieval I had to sort through and remove the garbage if the recyclables were to be salvaged.
This experience tells me that the responsibility of recycling does not only lie in the hands of the event organizers, but also with the participants.
I don’t know why the Pumpkin Run organizers opted not to put out recycle containers, but I do know that “improvement in the management of the waste” will not become a way of life until every one of us takes it seriously and behaves accordingly.