German Village Gazette

RecyColumbus

Program expanding to condos, apartments in '14

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Columbus is extending residential curbside recycling to those who live in condominium and apartment complexes, bringing an estimated 15,000 customers into the program.

Between February and March, the city will begin distributing the 64-gallon blue containers to eligible complexes, which have 90- and 300-gallon garbage cans already collected by the city of Columbus.

"It was always our hope that we'd be able to expand to as many residents as possible," said Leslie Strader, policy adviser to Mayor Michael B. Coleman.

The city was able to work the expanded collection into its current contract with Rumpke, so there is no additional cost, save for $30,000 in public-relations outreach to residents, Strader said.

Collection begins the week of March 3, when the city also will phase in a new collection schedule. Yard waste and recycling will be collected on the same day instead of alternating weeks, as it is done now.

RecyColumbus currently has five zones collected on a bi-weekly basis, which is overwhelming the material recovery facility near the Ohio State Fairgrounds, Strader said.

When the change is implemented, the city will be split into 10 separate zones, meaning material will go to the recovery facility on a daily basis.

"Now they'll get a more constant stream of material rather than a burst of materials every other week when Columbus picks up the recycling," Strader said.

"And it will make it easier on residents to remember what material goes out which week."

The collection day of the week will not change, but the week of collection could change.

For example, recycling collected on the first and third Monday of a month might move to the second and fourth Monday of a month. Residents will be notified in advance of the new collection schedule.

The Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio has reached out to 20 condo and apartment complexes that were not eligible for the service through Columbus.

Also, SWACO will provide drop-off containers to select communities in the north and northwest part of the city, in addition to dozens of drop-off centers throughout Greater Columbus for those without access to curbside recycling.

Since the RecyColumbus program got its start in June 2012, it has added more than 185,000 customers, who have diverted more than 36,000 tons of recyclables from the landfill, saving taxpayers a little more than $2 million in landfill fees, officials said.

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