City says new recycling system off to good start
Columbus is giving residents high marks for the first week of recycling.
Erin Miller, the city's environmental steward, said there were few glitches June 4, the first collection day of the citywide recycling effort, which affected 47,000 households on the West, Southwest and Northwest sides.
The first day brought in 414.21 tons of reusable materials, resulting in a savings of $22,955 in fees if the recyclables had been dumped at the landfill.
While the statistics do not reflect individual participation rates, the numbers were higher than anticipated, she said.
"We were pleased with the tonnage because that falls right about where the national average is with communities that have carts," Miller said.
"It was better than we expected for the first collection."
There were some minor issues, such as people calling to say their carts weren't emptied, she said.
That could have been the result of residents not putting them in the proper place or not having them out by 6 a.m. the day of the collection.
A rule of thumb: If yard waste is collected in an alley, that's where the cart belongs, Miller said.
Virtually every type of recyclable material is acceptable, with the exception of plastic grocery bags, which can clog up the sorting machinery, she said.
Rosemarie Lisko, a member of the Northwest Civic Association, said she figures her Indian Hills neighborhood had roughly 65 percent participation the first week.
She said homeowners seemed confused about the system, in which yard waste and recyclables are picked up on alternating weeks.
"That's kind of confusing to people," Lisko said."I think it will sort itself out."
"The problem I have is it is another container you have to store. There's only so much room in the garage."
Indian Hills will continue to use an email tree to inform residents of the recycling program, Lisko said.
Delivery of blue carts to residents who live on the South, Near East, Far East and Southeast sides began June 11. Collection in those areas is scheduled to start July 31.
When fully implemented in February 2013, the program will serve more than 220,000 households.
Miller said community outreach and education will continue through neighborhood groups and the city to spread the word about the program.
"There's been such a pent up demand to have this program that everyone's just ecstatic that it's finally here," she said.