In principle, recycling is a good idea. Reusing already processed materials over again can reduce stress on the environment in the form of resource extraction and garbage. However principles must always balance with reality as the Hampshire County Commission has discovered.
When studying the Monongalia County model Hampshire County's leaders concluded that even with a $100,000 start up grant, a program could not maintain itself in the long run. Hampshire shares the same problem as the rest of the Potomac Highlands counties studying this issue. A disbursed and low population combined with prohibitive expenses means recycling end up being an intolerable financial burden. Not to mention that recycling requires more than just the placement of bins. People need to spend time separating the various components and also need to refrain from simply dumping all their garbage in the bins.
Recycling has grown so prevalent around the country that a low level of demand exists for these products. It is not worth the money for a private firm to pick up the materials from rural areas when cities provide a glut. Most local governments also cannot afford to pick up the tab when they cannot even pay enough money to maintain a full complement of sheriff's deputies.
The best hope for the idea of recycling lies in the forms that people can do most easily. Promoting the reuse of plastic containers or glass jars instead of purchasing Tupperware type products is one way. Others recycle old auto parts. They keep non running vehicles on their property for parts to maintain cars that do still run. This conserves valuable metal resources.
However at this point, expecting the taxpayers to pick up the tab for recycling just is not feasible for rural West Virginia counties.