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RE: [greenyes] Recycling Program Travail

It would seem the problem can be summed up right here:

"In Indianapolis, recycling is voluntary, and residents must call the city or their contractor to sign up, and pay an average $5 a month for the service."

In Minneapolis, one of the cities cited as having a successful program, residents who participate in the curbside program get a $7 per month credit on their garbage bills.

Mark Snyder
Pollution Prevention Specialist
Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance

-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Anderson [mailto:anderson@no.address]
Sent: Friday, May 06, 2005 11:57 AM
To: GreenYes
Subject: [greenyes] Recycling Program Travail

Indy recycling could get kicked from the curb
City may dump program due to low participation, cost

By Tammy Webber
May 5, 2005

Indianapolis' struggling curbside and drop-off recycling programs might be
eliminated to help trim the Department of Public Works' budget, leaving
residents who want to recycle to fend for themselves.
Participation in the programs is so poor -- and costs so high -- that the
department must consider cutting them, department spokeswoman Margie Smith
Simmons said Wednesday.
She said the department also is considering ending waste collection on
holidays, as well as reducing the frequency of trash collection. The
department will also look at whether it will continue collecting leaves and
removing dead animals.
Only about 3.5 percent of eligible households participate in curbside
recycling programs offered by the city and its contractors. For most, it's
easier to throw everything away. Some residents take their recyclables --
newspapers, cardboard, glass, aluminum and plastic -- to one of 29 drop-off
sites, but that still ends up costing the city money, Smith Simmons said.
"In general, there doesn't seem to be the understanding of the importance of
recycling within the community of Indianapolis," she said.
Recycling reduces the amount of raw materials needed to make goods -- it's
easier to make plastic from plastic, rather than from petroleum, for
example, and recycling lowers energy consumption. It also preserves landfill
space and reduces the amount burned in incinerators.
"If we're trying to present a positive image as a city of the millennium,
this won't reflect positively on us," said Steve Benham, who said he's one
of only two people who tote recycling bins to the curb every week in his
Glendale neighborhood. "People already view us as backward."
Indianapolis' situation, though, is similar to that of other large cities in
the Midwest -- including Detroit, St. Louis, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio --
where recycling efforts are floundering.
Still, some large cities, including Minneapolis and San Francisco, have
successful programs, and several Marion County suburbs have programs in
which 30 percent to 80 percent of residents participate because recycling is
mandatory or made simple.
In Indianapolis, recycling is voluntary, and residents must call the city or
their contractor to sign up, and pay an average $5 a month for the service.
As a result, most residents don't bother.

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