March 07, 2002 11:00 pm

La Grande City Councilor Doyle Slater was right this week when he suggested the city council get on with developing a program of curbside recycling.

City Garbage Service, which would pick up the recyclables, has come up with several alternatives for getting the program under way. The council should adopt the least expensive plan.

That plan, called Option 3, would provide for a 64-gallon curbside recycling cart like the one customers now use but a different color. Garbage would be picked up one week and recyclables the next.

That plan would cost La Grande customers a modest $1.82 more per month on their garbage bill (plus an additional 25 cents if the council decides to spread out the costs of providing service to about 175 low-income customers).

To be sure, there would be some hassles. Customers would have to remember whether to put their green carts out that week for garbage or their blue cart out for recyclables. But that issue could be solved easily by placing a piece of tape or hanging a sign on the container due to go out that week, or positioning it closest to the street.

Another concern would come to the customers who would have more garbage accumulating than what could be handled on a one-cart, every-other-week basis. These customers would have to obtain a second garbage cart, at additional expense.

But for many La Grande residents, the every-other-week approach could work fine, especially as they begin to realize that some of the milk jugs and other recyclables they are tossing into the garbage now, could go into the recycling cart. At the outset, glass would not be allowed in the recycling bins. We hope that City Garbage will develop the means soon to collect glass containers on curbside.

The council should approve the every-other-week approach. It would be an affordable way to get curbside recycling off to a start in La Grande.


A number of fans turned their backs on the Portland Trail Blazers early in the season when the franchises losses started adding up much faster than its wins.

Fans pointed their fingers at Bob Whitsitt, the Blazers president and general manager who came by his name Trader Bob quite legitimately by trading away some of Portlands best players (forward Brian Grant and guard Steve Smith come to mind).

The team has come together as of late. The Blazers have posted the National Basketball Associations best record since Jan. 15. Theyre on an 11-game winning streak, defeating three quality clubs, the Milwaukee Bucks, Sacramento Kings and Minnesota Timberwolves, over the past week.

As resident Oregonians, we hope the success continues. One thought for Trader Bob, though: Dont mess with the teams chemistry.