Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman has put a fine point on a comprehensive curbside recycling program throughout the city.

Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman has put a fine point on a comprehensive curbside recycling program throughout the city.

The mayor this week proposed a comprehensive plan in which the city would gather household recycling every other week, alternating with yard-waste collection.

He wants to give each single-family household a 65-gallon container, large enough to hold a 14-day supply of paper, plastic, glass and metal.

Still, because of budget constraints, the program likely won't take effect until spring of 2012. It likely will be phased in over the course of several months, Coleman's spokesman, Dan Williamson, said.

Coleman used responses from a survey, which was sent to 1,200 random households and also posted online, to determine the best course of action.

According to the poll, a majority of respondents (50 percent mailed-in, 48 percent online) had a favorable view of biweekly recycling collections. In addition, 44 percent of respondents of both the online and mailed-in polls said every-other-week pickup, either seasonally or year-round, is preferable to a weekly collection of yard waste.

A public outreach campaign will be launched next year, Williamson said.

While Coleman's goal is 100-percent participation, "it will take a long time to get there," Williamson said, adding that a 35-percent participation rate initially would be preferable.

"If we could divert 35 percent of yard waste and recyclables from our waste stream, that would save us more than $5-million in tipping fees to the landfill," he said. "Right now, we divert 10 percent of yard waste and recyclables from our waste stream."

Columbus City Council, while it has not met to discuss the mayor's proposal, generally supports comprehensive recycling "from an environmental and financial standpoint," spokesman John Ivanic said.

"It diverts recyclable material form the landfill, extends the life of the landfill and saves Columbus money on tipping fees," he said.

John Remy, spokesman for SWACO, said the mayor's plan, once it goes into effect, would not immediately alter the solid-waste authority's drop-off centers across the city. However, in the long term, the plan is to redeploy some receptacles to select apartment complexes, which would not receive the 65-gallon wheeled carts.

Meanwhile, Columbus residents show enthusiasm toward recycling, he said. In fact, recycling at drop-off centers is up 6 percent from last year, Remy said.

"So it's clear people want to recycle," he said. "We're optimistic that once the added convenience of curbside is provided, it will increase."