City looking into curbside recycling

Paducah city leaders are working to make curbside recycling a reality. 

Paducah Public Information Officer Pam Spencer said the engineering and public works departments are developing a cost effective plan for curbside recycling.  She said they plan to reveal details to commissioners at a workshop in December or by the end of January.

This means existing centers may close or down-size. 

Merle Paschedag runs the Greater Paducah Sustainability Project (GPSP), the Paducah region’s non-profit drop-off recycling center. He said changing to curbside service is positive and that they’ll just re-define their role.

“If its just residential than there will be commercial recycling that still needs to happen. If commercial recycling is included, then there will be specialty recycling,” Paschedag said.

He said they could shift their focus to being able to recycle glass, Styrofoam, or electronics. 

Paschedag started the center in his backyard about four years ago. Now, they lease a building from Paducah Water and recycle about 3 million pounds a year. Paschedag said they were thinking about expanding before curbside services were being considered. 

Regardless of commissioners decisions, they’ll have to move by June 30th. Paschedag said the recycling center’s lease will be up and that they have already gotten two extensions.

“We don’t know to what degree the building will shut down. We may find a new building between now and then, and we may not need as big a building. So, it may be easier to find and move,” Paschedag said.

He said they’re waiting for details to be revealed about the possible curbside recycling plan before they make any changes. 

A mailed survey to residents from the city last year shows recycling is something people in Paducah care about and want. When people were asked to rate the quality of Paducah’s recycling more than 50 percent said it was poor or didn’t know. However, when people were asked what they thought about having recycling brought to their curb more than 80 percent of people thought it was somewhat or very important.

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