As with most reform initiatives, the top is a good place to start.
That is why we agree with the Harrison County Solid Waste Authority that the county courthouse and area city halls need to be the leaders when it comes to recycling.
Since October, the courthouse staff has led the effort by recycling office-grade paper and fluorescent light bulbs. Authority officials plan to meet with municipal leaders this spring to find out what city hall plans are already in place and what could be done.
Reclaiming this comparatively small amount of material from moldering in landfills may seem like a drop in the bucket. But, we believe the Authority when officials say this is merely the beginning of a bolder, better, more enforceable county recycling ordinance.
Municipalities and counties around the nation have experimented with a variety of ways to reduce the amount of trash going into expensive landfill facilities. These vary from universal curbside pickup to neighborhood bins to see-through bags (to prevent yard waste from slipping through the system) to having sanitation customers pay per bag of garbage they "throw away."
Given our state's small population, we believe there is great potential for success for programs that incorporate many of these ideas -- or other plans suited to our rural atmosphere.
West Virginia is among the most pristine of the states and we would like to keep it as wild and wonderful as it is now for economic development potential and for high quality of life.
A better county recycling program is one small step toward that goal.
Today's editorial reflects the opinion of the Exponent editorial board, which is comprised of James G. Logue, Kevin S. Courtney, Patrick M. Martin, Nora Edinger and J. Cecil Jarvis.