To the editor:

To the editor:

My family moved to Pickerington less than three years ago, so I don't know if city council's retreat from a mandatory curbside recycling program is typical of its "leadership" ("City council overhauls recycling plan," July 17).

I do know it is disappointing to see a group of elected officials cave in so easily to a handful of angry telephone calls.

I am not a tree-hugger or a member of Greenpeace. I do hail from a central Ohio community that I have heard Pickerington residents deride as provincial and backward. This community, Marysville, has had mandatory curbside recycling for at least 12 years -- and they also have tiered rates for their trash pickup service, so residents can control the cost if they choose to do so.

The plain truth is, most of us won't recycle until we have to. It's unrealistic to expect a voluntary program to attract enough takers to be worthwhile for the vendors. The smart way to go, as I learned 12 years ago, is to consider recycling a public utility, like water and sewer service.

For a community like Pickerington, which seems to pride itself on being progressive, not to have a recycling program is disgraceful. City council should have done this a decade ago, and they should reverse themselves and implement a citywide program at the earliest opportunity.

Sometimes leadership means taking people in a direction they don't want to go, even though they need to go there.

Mark Youngkin