Municipal Recycling

Departments - Municipal Recycling

May 15, 2008
Connecticut City Goes to Single Stream

The city of Hartford, Conn., has introduced a new pilot program called "Go Green, Use Blue." The program uses the single-stream collection method and will work in conjunction with the Philadelphia-based RecycleBank incentive program.

The program began in May with nearly 5,000 households in the city. These residents will receive a 64-gallon cart in which to place all of their recyclables.

Hartford is the first community in the nation to benefit from the National Recycling Partnership’s grant program, which helps U.S. cities to demonstrate best managerial, technical and educational practices in residential recycling programs.

Baton Rouge Recycling Campaign Exceeds Expectations

In November of 2007, Baton Rouge, La., Mayor Melvin "Kip" Holden asked residents to increase their curbside recycling efforts. Each household responded by recycling an average of more than 3.5 pounds, causing a 16.4 percent increase in overall material collected.

Since switching to a single-stream program in early 2006, the city had experienced a significant increase in recycling (35 percent), but still wasn’t close to its overall goal of increasing recycling by 50 percent. The city of Baton Rouge/parish of East Baton Rouge partnered with the Curbside Value Partnership (CVP) to launch a new education campaign to ramp up recycling. A campaign was developed called "Cart IT! Create a Recycling Tradition in Baton Rouge" under the assumption that most residents were aware of the new 64-gallon recycling program and that many already had carts. The primary goal was to encourage residents to recycle more diligently.

After the campaign was officially launched in early November, data from the local material recovery facility (MRF), The Recycling Foundation, was reviewed and compared to data from 2005, before the switch to single stream, as well as data from 2006, the first year of the single-stream program. Not only did the city see a 16.4 percent increase in recycling during the last year, but it also exceeded the goal in switching to single stream by experiencing a 51.4 percent increase in overall recycling tons from prior to the switch.

Steve Thompson, CVP program director, says, "CVP was honored to work with Baton Rouge, but frankly we were nervous. The bar was already set high. Susan and her team had won the National Recycling Coalition’s Public Education Campaign of the Year surrounding their initial education when switching to single stream. We knew this education campaign truly had to be special and tailored for the residents."

The Cart It! campaign included billboards; bus shelter advertisements; library displays; a combination of paid and free PSAs in local newspaper, radio and TV media outlets; earned media coverage and a wide variety of community outreach.

Members of the Aluminum Association and Can Manufacturer’s Institute currently fund the CVP program. Current CVP partner communities include the state of Georgia as well as Arlington County, Va.; Brevard County, Fla.; Burlington County, N.J.; Denver; Kansas City, Mo.; Indian River, Fla.; Lancaster and York Counties in Pennsylvania; Mecklenburg County, N.C.; Omaha, Neb.; Baton Rouge; and Orlando, Fla.