Recycling bin

City’s Committee for a Better Environment (CBE) will be on hand to present ideas on how to improve recycling rate at tonight’s Council worksession.

Since the City began single-stream recycling in 2008, the rate of recycling has increased significantly, and now about 25% of the waste the City collects (by weight) is recycled.

This saves the City money, because we have to pay $59 per ton in tipping fees for landfill waste, and we receive about $2-3 for each ton recycled. Many residents still throw recyclable materials in their green trash bins, and many businesses and apartment buildings still don’t recycle at all.

The City’s Committee for a Better Environment has proposed the following ways to improve our recycling rate:

1) Gather information on resident participation in recycling programs and barriers to recycling. For example, conduct a survey about people’s awareness of recycling rules, how many people recycle and why they do or do not;

2) Gather information on business interest and participation in recycling and barriers to business participation. For example, meet with business owners and private haulers to determine why they do or do not participate in recycling programs and how the City can encourage participation;

3) Conduct community outrach program to encourage greater recycling. For example, publicly recognize businesses and property owners who increase their recycling and conduct targeted public education campaigns or help provide funds to defray the cost of starting commercial recycling programs;

4) Amend the City recycling code to update and strengthen the recycling rules to reflect current recycling practice.

The Council will discuss these ideas at tonight’s worksession at 8pm.