Marking its fifth anniversary this year, RecyColumbus is putting up admirable numbers, the city's environmental steward said.

Marking its fifth anniversary this year, RecyColumbus is putting up admirable numbers, the city's environmental steward said.

In 2015, Columbus residents recycled more than 33 tons of material through the citywide curbside pickup initiative.

That saved Columbus more than $1.8 million in tipping fees, Erin Miller said.

Since the start of the program in June 2012, residents have recycled more than 100,000 tons of materials that otherwise would have been dumped at the Franklin Country Landfill, saving Columbus more than $5 million total in tipping fees, she said.

Miller said it's an indication the efforts are working.

"More than 75 percent of city residents with a blue cart are filling it and putting it out for collection, moving the city of Columbus into the ranks of being a national recycling leader," she said.

Miller said several factors could be at play when participation counts are done four times a year.

"People may be on vacation and not put it out, people may have forgotten to put it out," she said. "Or they might not have it filled. So there are many reasons they might not put it out for collection.

"We would always love to see more," Miller said.

Kristin Pietrykowski of Merion Village has been a longtime recycling enthusiast, even before the curbside program took effect.

When she lived in Columbus near the Grandview Heights area, she was forced to physically haul items to the nearest recycling center.

"I knew where my bins were around the city," Pietrykowski said.

Now she has a trusty blue bin she totes right out to the curb with little fuss.

"I'm recycling more because there were times when my bins got full," Pietrykowski said. "There would be some that went into the trash."

She said she's still playing cheerleader for recycling.

"I still encourage some of my friends," Pietrykowski said. "They just have never done it, so it's kind of new to them."

Miller reminds recycling participants that more recyclable refuse can fit in the blue carts if boxes and plastic bottles are collapsed before being discarded.

Plastic bags should not be added to the mix, but most retailers, such as grocery stores, accept them for recycling.

Also, residents will save room in their carts if non-recyclables -- plastic yogurt cups, butter tubs and foam or plastic carryout containers -- are left out.

The city's contract with hauler Rumpke expires in early 2017. City officials will be seeking bids from potential service providers this spring.