The Town of Pinetop-Lakeside did all of us and the earth a big favor when they opened their new Collection Center recently. Previously, residents recycled into blue trailers and green dumpsters scattered around town. They often overflowed, and recyclers had to find another bin or wait days for bins to be emptied.

Leaders of the Town wanted to provide a better recycling method and they also wanted to offer a way for seasonal residents or campers or picnickers who generate waste but don’t have a way to dispose of their trash conveniently and inexpensively. The Town doesn’t have enough full-time residents to support recycling pickup like Show Low has, so they created the Collection Center.

The Pinetop-Lakeside Collection Center is located at 1000 S. Woodland Road in Lakeside, across from Mountain Meadow Recreation Center. To enter, turn right at the far end of the brown fence. Hours are 9 am-6pm, Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m-noon Saturday and Sunday.

Recycling items must be clean. The following items are accepted: plastics numbers 1, 2 and 5; all metals; glass; paper and cardboard. A fee of $1 is charged for an up-to-50-gallon bag.

Household trash (or camping or picnic trash) has a fee of $2.50 per 30 gallon bag. You may find that disposing of your trash this way costs less than the pickup service you now pay for. All sorts of other types of waste (furniture, tires, appliances, pine needles, etc.) can also be disposed of for set fees. The first time you visit the Center, pick up the brochure that lists the fees.

My guess is that less than 10% of the non-Show Low residents on the mountain recycle. Why recycle when you can easily just toss everything in the trash? And why pay a fee to recycle?

Well, it is something you can do to help keep our earth going. It doesn’t waste items that can be re-used. It takes very little time and effort. If you recycle all of your items listed above in the accepted recycling categories, you will be amazed at how little actual waste you generate.

Tips: Keep your recycling items in separate containers at home because you will put them in separate bins for glass, plastic, metal and paper at the Center. Crush plastic and cans to compact them so they take up less space in that 30 gallon bag. Break down cardboard items so they take up less space.

Super deluxe tip that will save you ever having to spend time, electricity and paper-shredder blades on shredding again: keep paper you would shred in a box until you have a bunch saved. Take the box to the Pinetop-Lakeside Sanitary District. Turn off the highway onto Hansen Lane, go past Penney Lane and turn right onto Alisa Lane (2600 W. Alisa, Lakeside). Stop in at the office, say you have shreddables, and they will let you put your paper directly into the loader that dumps directly into the digester that turns paper into mulch. You can also recycle any paper or cardboard for free in the bins they have there and can even leave a little cheese on the pizza boxes for the digester to digest.

These services are open to everyone. Let’s get this mountain recycling! Every litter bit helps.

Sheryl Eaton is president of the White Mountain Democrats

and is a retired educator.

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