Letter to the editor: Tourists should be aware of Summit County’s recycling rules

I babysit for quite a few tourists. Tourists are on vacation and have little interest or incentive to take the time to sort their ‘waste’. (Obsessive as I am, I’ve been known to take recyclable materials home with me.) They don’t know our dump will fill up for the foreseeable future and, frankly, they don’t care.

They won’t pay to find a new site, do environmental impact studies and all that entails. Most condos, VRBO’s, AirBnB’s have dual bins – one for trash, one for recyclables. Unfortunately, these are usually not labeled, although condo associations are commended for providing them.

There is also a lot of confusion about what can and cannot be recycled. Also, I’ve seen station employees throw both bags of recyclables and garbage bags into the same bin. There is a lot of work to be done here to educate local workers as well as tourists and residents about what can be recycled and in what condition.

Recyclable materials must be clean. Unfortunately, I don’t think most tourists will care if their pizza boxes have grease or cheese stains or if their plastics have been rinsed off. Resorts and condo associations could do a lot to educate by increasing signage. I also think a modest rental fee to fund a new dump would be appropriate. (Yes, I hear people complaining.)

Educating locals can also help. There are far too many inhabitants who still do not feel the need to recycle. These are the same people who will be screaming about increased trash rates or taxes when we need a new dump. Now is the time to educate.