Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Local Recycling

My neighborhood has curb side recycling. Sadly it does not appear to be working. I go down my street and only around 1 in 20 houses (if that) will have put anything out for recycling. I think part of the reason is because my neighborhood has blue bag recycling and it is difficult to find blue plastic bags. The city claims they are easy to find, but they are not of the stores I shop at only one store sells them. That store sells them for twice the price of regular garbage bags.

I heard that blue bag recycling has failed in other cities like Chicago because the same truck would pick the blue bags up as the garbage. My city has a separate truck come later in the day so I don't think the reason is people thinking the bags will just end up in the dump or that the bags would break which was reasons sited for others cities to fail. I don't think it is lack of knowledge the city does send out fliers a few times a year and has been running commercials on television asking people to recycle (not to mention most recyclable things say please recycle right on them). It could be because curbside pickup is only for type 1 and 2 plastics, glass, metal containers, and newspapers. For 3,4,5,6, and 7 type plastics you have to take it to the actual recycling center. For loose paper you can take it to Abitibi paper recycling boxes which have become fairly common in this area. To recycle phone books it has to be the correct part of the year and at a designated drop off area.

While they can do a number of things to get people to recycle and make it easier for people to recycle. It probably won't matter much unless they start giving some type of incentive to people. For instance a deposit on glass or plastic bottles like some states do (mine does not). Another method I heard which worked for other cities raising the recycling amount from around 10% to %90 percent. Was/is to offer credit for the recycled stuff by weight. I heard some places have started weighing the recyclable trash and offering points that are redeemable in local stores.

No comments: