The Shafter Press - Serving the community since 1922

By Jamie Stewart
The Shafter Press 

No more recycling bin at aquatics cengter


For those who are concerned about the environment in Shafter and wanting to make the city a little more eco-friendly was dealt a blow recently when a recycling bin located in the parking lot of the Shafter Aquatic Center was removed from the property.

Resident J.T. Watson contacted [BEGIN ITAL]The Shafter Press[END ITAL] concerned that the bin had been taken out and wondered what residents will be able to do to do their part in recycling. According to Lynnda Martin of American Refuse, the bin was specifically created by owner Jeff Martin, to be used at the Shafter location. It allowed residents to dispose of their recyclable materials, such as plastics, glass, cardboard, paper, etc.

“The bin was used a lot by residents,” Watson said. “There were days where I had to take my recyclables home with me and come back a day or two later because the bin was full. So, I know that the bin was used a lot, letting me know that it wasn’t taken out because it wasn’t being used.”

The Shafter Aquatics Center was the site for the latest event to help Shafter go green and make the city a little cleaner and greener with a bulky waste pick up event that allowed residents to drop off furniture, televisions, computers, mattresses, a great variety of items. The problem with the recycle container it seems, is that residents were using the bin to and the location as a drop-off site at all times of the day and year.

There were numerous complaints from residents on the lot being a dumping ground for trash, furniture, mattresses and other large items, making it an eyesore for the city. “People were complaining that it looked really tacky and people were just dumping whatever they wanted at the site,” Martin said.

Ultimately, the complaints were enough that it necessitated American Refuse to remove the bin. “We were requested to remove the bin,” said Martin. “It makes me so sad to have to do it because a lot of people were doing such a great job using the bin. They were washing out their containers, separating the items, just using the bin the way it is designed for and doing such a great job in helping the environment.”

Martin spends her workdays educating the public, schools and businesses on the importance of recycling and how individuals and businesses can go about recycling the correct way. Due to her efforts, the majority of our schools now have recycling programs in place. In fact, two of the schools were recognized publicly for their programs. Grimmway Academy was recognized by the Kern County Board of Supervisors for their recycling program, which is at close to 0% waste that is going out to the landfill, disposing of almost all of their organic waste to recycling centers.

Sequoia Elementary recently won a cash prize for their efforts in their recycling program. “I am so proud of our schools and individuals who have embraced the recycling programs and are doing their part in making Shafter a cleaner place to live,” commented Martin. “This is what is so frustrating about this situation. There are people doing the right thing that are being punished for a select few who are not following the guidelines,” concluded Martin.

With the removal of the recycling bin at the Aquatic Center, residents can still take their recyclables to the City Yard of Shafter located off of Shafter Avenue. There are recycle bins there that residents can use to put their materials in. Martin encouraged those who want to recycle to utilize these bins.


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