Hoover mayor sets recycling goal for city

While the city of Hoover boasts one of the best recycling programs in the country with approximately 10 percent of trash being recycled, Mayor Tony Petelos isn’t satisfied. He believes Hoover’s citizens can do better than that.

So for the new year, Petelos made a resolution for the entire city: double the recycling efforts from 10 percent to 20 percent.

“We need to be recycling more than we’re taking to the landfill,” Petelos said. “I think our citizens don’t mind recycling, but for some reason they need a push. This is the push.”

The city of Hoover accepts all recyclables except glass, and Petelos said he’s looking for a way to get glass included in the city’s recycle program.

Hoover residents have a special recycle can which can be filled with all recyclables other than glass.

“A lot of people are confused. They think they have to separate it, but they don’t. They just can put it all in the same container,” Petelos said.

The city pays for garbage pickup, which includes the recycle program. The recycle program saves the city money because the city saves on landfill costs.

Petelos said for residents, that savings in cost should translate to a willingness to participate in the program.

“We’re one of the few cities that has garbage pickup that is paid for by the city,” he said. “(Recycling) saves the city money because we’re not paying the landfill costs. It’s not only environmentally the smart thing to do, but from an economic point of view, it’s also smart.”

Last year, the city recycled 3,500 tons. Petelos said he hopes to double that amount to 7,000 tons. He also hopes to help make recycling easier for businesses and those who live in apartment homes.

If those goals are accomplished, Petelos will just move on to the next one.

“Maybe next year we can go from 20 percent to 40 percent,” he said.