The Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio and the city of Gahanna hope residents will roll with new 64-gallon recycling carts later this month.

Hanna Greer-Brown, SWACO communications manager, said more than 10,000 carts are scheduled to be delivered to Gahanna residents between April 25 and May 2.

Before the carts arrive, Gahanna households will receive a postcard from SWACO notifying them that new receptacles are on the way and providing tips on how to best utilize them along with answers to frequently asked questions, according to Rob Priestas, Gahanna's director of public service and engineering.

Residents will receive the wheeled recycling carts thanks in part to a grant from SWACO and a national nonprofit organization called the Recycling Partnership, that connects communities with private dollars to improve and expand recycling, Priestas said.

SWACO initially is providing the wheeled carts to five communities representing more than 38,000 households in Gahanna, Bexley, Blendon Township, Reynoldsburg and Westerville, according to Greer-Brown.

The new carts typically cost about $45 each, but these communities will pay only about $15.52 per cart, with SWACO and the Recycling Partnership contributing the rest.

Priestas said the total amount of the grants provided by SWACO, contributing $22.50 per cart, and the Recycling Partnership, $7 per cart, is expected to total about $295,649.

"Our plan moving forward for this program would be to charge a nominal fee of approximately 44 cents per month over a three-year period to cover the remaining cost of the cart purchase from SWACO," he said.

"This fee would be merely cost recovery. Our model moving forward after the initial three-year purchase included charging a nominal fee of approximately 25 cents per month. This 25-cents per month would create a sustainable program that could fund the replacement and maintenance of the carts as they reach end of life."

If residents elected to rent the same container from Rumpke today, Priestas said, they would be charged $3.50 per month, or $42 per year.

If they elected to purchase the same container from Home Depot, it would cost no less than $85.96 ($79.97 plus tax), he said.

"Transitioning away from bin-based recycling to cart-based recycling with this grant opportunity standardizes the cart and creates an even playing field among communities, so that collection contractors can standardize their bids and realize efficiencies from using the more modern and standardized collection processes to take advantage of reduced collection costs for our community long-term," Priestas said.

In addition to purchasing new carts, SWACO will use funds from the Recycling Partnership grant to provide recycling educational materials to all residents around central Ohio, according to Greer-Brown.

As part of SWACO's ongoing "Recycle Right" program, the materials will include guidelines for what can and cannot be recycled in Franklin County.

The new recycling carts provide residents many advantages over the current bins, according to Priestas.

Besides being easier to take to the curb, they have a lid, which reduces litter on windy days, and the larger size makes it easier for residents to recycle more material, he said.

The five types of materials that are accepted for recycling in Franklin County include:

* Paper and cardboard (remember to flatten boxes).

* Plastic bottles and jugs (leave on the lids and labels).

* Glass bottles and jars (all colors).

* Metal cans (aluminum cans, soup cans, empty aerosol cans).

* Cartons (milk cartons, juice boxes, broth cartons are acceptable; rinse and remove lids and straws).

Greer-Brown said recyclables collected as part of the household recycling program, for which the carts are being made available, and through SWACO's drop-off recycling program are taken to Rumpke for sorting, processing and sale.

When people put items in the recycling container that aren't accepted for recycling, she said, it's contaminates the recycling stream and those materials have to be sorted out, which is expensive operationally and can lead to higher recycling costs for everyone.

Greer-Brown said Franklin County residents and businesses recycle 49 percent, or 958,000 tons or 4 pounds of material per person per day, of all the waste they create each year.

She said that's above the national average of 34 percent.

Greer-Brown said the wheeled carts are considered a best practice, with other communities like Columbus, Hilliard and Dublin already providing residential carts to collect residential recyclables.

She said the carts provide many advantages over recycling bins, such as automated collection to improve safety and efficiency, reduced litter and benefits to communities seeking competitive bids for recycling and waste-hauling services.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla