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Sat, June 25

PRESIDENT'S COLUMN: Loud and Clear The Village Wants Recycling Back

Camille Cox

Camille Cox

Closure of the recycling service center behind Clark’s market is the current hot topic in town. The announcement that Sedona Recycles was discontinuing its contract with Yavapai County was an unexpected blow, and forthcoming statements from the two parties offered no hint of further discussion to find a workable solution.

It was reported at the May 12th meeting that District 3 Supervisor Donna Michaels reached out to the Council to say that she is committed to working with the VOC and County staff to explore solutions for restoration of local recycling services.

Survey Results

The Council conducted a survey in May to learn the recycling habits of residents, and hear their sentiments about the closure. The results are convincing - residents feel strongly that a local service that enables responsible, single–stream disposal of recyclables is of high importance.

Complete results will be compiled into a report and forwarded to the County Board of Supervisors and Sedona Recycles, as the Council directed at the May meeting. You can find that report on the Big Park Council website and social media sites. The following is an abbreviated summary of what we learned as of May 23rd from the 687 responses received by then (>10% of population per 2020 census).

98.2% Recycle some or all recyclable household waste.

68.2% Used the Clark’s Market site and also pay for home curbside collection

When asked about “the importance to your household of having a recycling center in the Village of Oak Creek”:

88.9% Very important

9.3% Somewhat important

1.6% Not Important

When asked “what do you think the County’s next step should be?”:

80.1% Attempt to negotiate a new contract with Sedona recycles in order to restore the recycling program in the VOC

39.6% Find another solution to make local recycling in the VOC available

2.6% Do nothing, require residents to rely on private waste collectors and/or driving elsewhere as the local recycling solution

5.1% Other

The survey captured open comments as well, including some interesting solution ideas, and background anecdotes. We are investigating some of these, as well as pursuing discussion with Yavapai County.

Sustainability as a Core Value

Thank you, Villagers for so enthusiastically participating in the survey and articulating your advocacy for sustainability. You clearly expressed that “doing nothing” is unacceptable.

It’s not enough to tout Sustainability and Sustainable Tourism – we must choose our actions accordingly and model it for our kids, grandkids, visitors (millions every year) and elected officials.

While the Big Park Council is at work pursuing possible solutions, we encourage you to keep the discussion alive and do your personal best to Reduce-Reuse-Recycle with the resources we have. Action begets action!

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