The City of Portland, Me., will become the latest municipality to roll out recycling carts with assistance from The Recycling Partnership.
Already a community of strong recyclers with a robust pay-as-you-throw system in place, Portland ultimately chose to move forward with the roll out of 25,000 carts with the help of a grant, technical assistance, and educational resources from the Partnership.
“We knew this was something we wanted to deliver to our residents. Carts have so many benefits, from increased material recovery to reduced litter, which is very important in a coastal city like Portland,” Portland City Manager Jon Jennings said in a statement. “The Recycling Partnership was incredibly helpful in walking us through the economics of our decision, which were complex due to our existing pay-as-you-throw program. We eagerly await working with them on the roll out.”
According to the Recycling Partnership, Portland is unique among its cart grant recipients because, while under a bin-based program, it has already implemented many complementary tools to drive the maximum recovery of recyclables.
“Part of our keen interest in Portland is testing how far carts can take a strong program that’s limited by the volume bottle neck created by bins,” Jeff Meyers, vice president of corporate partnerships at the Recycling Partnership said in a statement. “Portland was so thoughtful in their decision-making and is committed to a best in class program, we know this will be a great project.”
Another key factor at play in this recycling infrastructure improvement is jobs.
“The additional recovery provided by carts directly translates into heightened job security for recycling collectors, processors, and end markets,” noted Laura Thompson, Director of Technical Marketing and Sustainable Development at Sappi North America and Chair of Recycling Works in Publishing (RWIP); RWIP is a member of The Recycling Partnership. “Sappi has more employees living in Maine than any other state, with them in mind we applaud Portland’s decision to move to carts. We are thrilled that our participation with The Recycling Partnership connects us directly with such forward-thinking local communities.”
Since the start of 2015, The Recycling Partnership has helped catalyze $21 million of new recycling infrastructure that positively impacts more than two million households. Over the coming months, The Partnership expects to complete placement of more than 300,000 additional carts.