A yearlong initiative announced today by Indianapolis officials is a last ditch effort to save the city’s struggling recycling program. According to the Indianapolis Star, the new public awareness program entreats residents to leave recyclables in curbside bins, rather than throwing them away with the trash. Marion County, which encompasses the city, is also considering a mandatory pay-as-you-throw incentive in which recycling would be free. Only 12 percent of the roughly 255,000 households within Marion County participate in the existing voluntary curbside recycling program.
The city nearly cancelled the recycling program last year, but the resulting public outcry and a 20 percent increase in recyclables saved it from the chopping block. Nevertheless, Indianapolis officials say they need to see much greater participation to justify the program’s continued existence.