A free curbside recycling program in the City of Columbus is long overdue. Our drop-off efforts are to be commended; however, they do not divert enough waste from the landfills, and they do not send the necessary message to current and potential constituents. In comparison to the fifty largest cities around the nation, our recycling efforts fall short. We have the opportunity now to make a difference in our long term financial outlook, bring new green businesses to our region, and attract and retain valuable talent. Among the fifty largest cities in the United States, only three including Columbus lack some form of a free curbside recycling program. Even Cleveland and Detroit, who have far greater financial issues than Columbus, have started pilot programs with the intention to create citywide initiatives. Furthermore, Columbus is the only large Ohio city without a free curbside recycling program. This situation puts Columbus at a competitive disadvantage. The young talent pool Columbus is trying to attract desires environmental consciousness and the ability to make a positive impact on their environment. Because recycling is the closest most citizens come to taking an active part in environmentalism, it could appear to our potential talent pool that we do not consider the environment a priority. In addition to turning away young professionals the lack of a recycling program could turn off green businesses looking to relocate. A green business will most likely look at environmental features and the overall community as well quality of life amenities. Columbus would most likely score highly in quality of life, but poor in environmental amenities. Also, we could potentially use our proposed recycling program as an economic development opportunity, as well as draw positive attention. If we donate our recycled material to businesses that locate in the City of Columbus, we could attract green businesses as well as raise tax revenue for the recycling program. Without a free curbside recycling program, Columbus might be able to save some money in landfill fees for the short term, but will lose valuable methods to attract emerging industries and potential talent in the long term. This short sightedness will damage our long term goals to become the greenest city in the country, become fiscally sustainable, and attract the next generation of talent to keep Columbus on the upward swing. Please note - do not feel obligated to donate to ipetitions.com. Your signature will appear on this petition whether or not you donate.