Want to start a recycling program in your city? These tips will help you get started and encourage your city to recycle. This post is sponsored by Inmar as part of #InmarIdeasThatMatter. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
The EPA estimates that 75% of the American waste stream is recyclable, but we only recycle about 30% of it. Recycling also helps reduce strain on our landfills, creates jobs, and helps the environment. These are all good reasons for every city to have a recycling program.
Sadly, recycling programs are even ending around the country since China is refusing to take our recyclables. Many cities have found ways around this though and your’s can as well. Recycling is still very important and not recycling will have long-term costs in the form of overflowing landfills and pollution.
Several years ago I was a part of a recycling coalition that worked to bring a curbside recycling program to our town. We already had drop-off recycling but we wanted to do more for our community.
When our city said they would be contracting out our trash because our landfill was almost full we knew we had an opportunity to create change.
We started speaking to our city council members about including curbside recycling and requested that bids they got from companies include the cost of having curbside recycling.
We then went to the city council meeting when they were voting on which company and contract to go with. We spoke about the benefits of recycling and were able to get all of the members to vote yes on including curbside recycling!
It was a lot of work but now we have a great program that the people in our city use and love. These are some of the steps we took that can help you as well. If your city already has recycling many can also help you improve your recycling rates.
How to Help Bring a Recycling Program to Your Town
- Talk to city officials and ask questions like, have you looked into having a recycling program? What would be your concerns about offering a recycling program?
- Talk to people in your city to find out if others are interested in recycling. You can even set up a free survey on Google Drive or many other sites and share it on sites like Facebook and Instagram, to find out what the interest levels are.
- Consider starting a recycling coalition. Recycling coalitions, like the one I was in, have played big roles in getting recycling programs started. They can also help encourage recycling after a program has been started.
- Talk to nearby towns, that are about the same size, that currently has recycling programs. You can try and find out how their program got started and if they have any tips.
- If your city contracts out your trash, see if you can talk to the trash company to find out if they offer a recycling program.
- Ask to speak at a city council meeting about recycling and your desire to have a recycling program in your town.
- Check out the National Recycling Coalition, they have a lot of great information on recycling.
- Most importantly, don’t give up and get others involved.
If you choose to take on this project it can be a lot of work but if you are able to make it happen you will have a lasting impact on your city and even the world.
And even if your city already has a recycling program you can use some of these tips to help improve the program you already have.
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