Beginning March 22nd, Environmental & General Services will put "Feet on the Street" to monitor and tag recycling bins. The Bin Inspection Project is supported by a grant from The Recycling Partnership awarded to the department. The goal of the grant is to improve the quality of recyclables collected at the curb. Currently, 30% of recyclables collected are considered contamination. This includes non-recyclable items like plastic bags, Styrofoam, and glass as well as trash that just doesn't belong in the blue bin.
How it works
10 inspectors will go through three neighborhoods each day for 8 weeks. The neighborhoods are those along three recycling collection routes. If the visual inspection shows non-recyclables or trash in the bin, an Oops Tag will be attached to remind the residents of correct recyclables as well as the contaminant found. If a bin is contaminated with materials that present a safety hazard to people or the sorting equipment, the bin will be collected as trash. The bin will be re-checked the next collection cycle. If the inspectors continue to find the bins contaminated, further action will occur including potential fines and possible removal from the recycling program.
Why is this important?
Since 2018, the City's recycling program has been faced with significant cost increases due to weak markets for recyclables. Contamination ruins good recyclables and adds additional fees. Since 2018, contamination has cost the City approximately $30,000 per month. If we can reduce contamination by 50%, the excess fees will be eliminated and will save the City $360,000 each year.
Recycling is an important and easy action we can take to strengthen our environment and reduce our carbon footprint. Let's Recycle Right!