Re: [GRRN] Switch to Biweekly curbside recycling collection
Wed, 4 Aug 1999 14:22:16 EDT

Philadelphia's bi-weekly collection system began about 8 years ago. Over that
time period, citizen confusion about recycling days (plus the need to store
inordinate amounts of material) led to significant participation reductions
(in some parts of the city as much as 40-50% reductions). This is the main
reason Philly's curbside recycling rate has remained below 7% even though we
have a program that began in 1997.

Vancouver may be more literate, thoughtful citizenry...but I
absolutely do not recommend to anyone that they consider making service less

The Philadelphia recycling office is currently running a massive test to see
whether going back to weekly can boost participation (they've also gone to
same day collection and given out several million dollars in new giant bins).
In my opnion they've botched both the "experimental" nature of their project
(long story) and the education side of the equation (absolutely no follow up
after the first wave of door hangers), but it still looks like things have
picked up immensely. They say they will have data before the end of the year.

Philadelphia's recycling office number is: 215-686-5504 if you want to get
more info.. But, for them at least, going to bi-weekly was a real kick in the

Isn't there any way you can add your green waste system to your curbside

Opinionated as usual,

David Biddle
Center for Solid Waste Research
Philadelphia, PA

In a message dated 8/4/99 12:08:05 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

<< I am doing some research on the impacts of switching from weekly curbside
blue box collection to biweekly. We are about to implement a curbside
yardwaste collection program. That program appears to make most sense if it
was instituted on a bi-weekly basis. Therefore I want to take this
opportunity to review the recycling program collection frequency. If a
change were ever to occur, having the two programs alternate might make most

I have little information on Cities that have made the switch from weekly to
biweekly collection, the impact on recovery rates, participation, etc.
There was some discussion in this forum back in 1997, which I will pursue
further. However since that time, does anyone know of new information or
trials that have occurred? Your assistance is appreciated.

Kevin. >>