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The City of Columbus and SWACO are again partnering to improve recycling. This month, the partners introduced Recycle Right, Make a Difference to families and residents in the Hilltop, encouraging more frequent and better recycling in addition to helping to reduce litter and trash on neighborhood streets and alleys.
“The City of Columbus is eager to work with the Hilltop community and SWACO to increase residential recycling for a greener, cleaner community and healthier neighborhoods,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “When our residents reduce, reuse and recycle, less trash is buried in the landfill and our community moves closer to achieving the critical goals of Sustainable Columbus.”
“The city’s curbside recycling program provided through our Division of Refuse Collection allows residents to play an important role in a program that benefits our environment and neighborhoods,” added Jennifer L. Gallagher, Director of the Department of Public Service. “With this concentrated Recycle Right effort in the Hilltop, and residents’ commitment citywide to recycling, we are working to reduce the amount of recyclable waste sent to the landfill by 40 percent by 2030.”
Recycle Right is a SWACO residential recycling education program focused on teaching best recycling practices. To date, the program has been implemented in nearly two dozen Central Ohio communities reaching thousands of residents.
The initiative includes targeted educational outreach about the benefits of recycling and how to recycle correctly. The Hilltop program also includes more intensive efforts to ensure that all residents who would like to participate in the curbside recycling program receive their first blue recycling cart at no cost.
While Central Ohio’s rate of recycling exceeds the national average, residents across the entire county still send over 1 million tons of material to the Franklin County Sanitary Landfill each year. More surprising is that nearly 76 percent of all the material in the landfill could have been recycled or composted. Through recycling reminders and educational messages, the Recycle Right program is designed to increase the effectiveness of recycling in the Hilltop and, in turn, reduce our reliance on the landfill.
Every year, SWACO works with half a dozen communities to activate the Recycle Right campaign. As a result, residents receive mailers and other marketing materials – like refrigerator magnets – to help them understand what’s accepted in the curbside recycling program and how to correctly dispose of common contaminants. To date, nearly 100,000 Franklin County residents have participated in the campaign in nearly two dozen communities.
“Recycling is a point of pride for Central Ohioans,” said Ty Marsh, SWACO’s Executive Director. “Seeing blue recycling carts lined up along the street signals to neighbors and those passing by that the health and safety of the environment and community are valued and looked after. SWACO is pleased to be able to support the families and residents on the Hilltop and we look forward to continuing to move all of Columbus forward towards greater sustainability and less reliance on the landfill.”
For more information about the Recycle Right program or the many benefits of recycling, visit www.RecycleRight.org.