Monday, July 8th, 2013

Recycling Is Not Only Popular in Columbus, Ohio, It Saves Landfill Fees

Columbus-recycling-binAs the city of Columbus, OH celebrated a successful first year of its curbside recycling program last month, it revealed that it had found it cheaper to pay Cincinnati-based Rumpke Recycling to collect recyclables, including plastics, than it was to pay landfill fees.

Rumpke Recycling collected 22,000 tons of recyclables from the city’s curbside bins in the past year. Since the landfill charges $55.75 per ton of waste, the City of Columbus said it saved a little more than $1.2 million that would have been paid to put its recyclables in a landfill.

An article on the website of the Columbus Dispatch quoted Robert Sykes, a  professor emeritus at Ohio State who taught recycling and solid-waste practices, saying he was encouraged by this because environmental concerns typically are not the driving force for recycling programs. “The whole question about whether or not (recycling) makes sense is whether or not it makes money,” said Sykes.

Apart from the financial benefit of its new recycling program, Columbus proved convincingly that an overwhelming majority of its citizens want to recycle all they can. Since the program started, 98 percent of those offered a 64-gallon recycling bin have taken it and are participating. That’s about 187,000 households.

Erin Miller, the city’s environmental steward, said the hope is that Columbus residents will be recycling 1.5 times as much within a year. She said the city wants to put recycling bins at condo and apartment complexes with more than four units.

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