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June 10, 2020
The Indiana Recycling Coalition (IRC) has released the results of a study on the recycling infrastructure of a 10-county region in Northwest Indiana. It was conducted in partnership with the Purdue University Environmental and Ecological Engineering Program and looked at “residential recycling activities via remote recycling drop offs, curbside collection programs, and at public and private recycling centers.”
Over the course of 10 months, the IRC sought to better understand these components of the local recycling infrastructure: education, contamination, access, material flow, challenges, and investment opportunities.
The research team’s analysis led to the creation of a list of forty-five region-specific recommendations that are ranked and detailed in the report. Some of the top recommendations include piloting IoT integrated user feedback terminals, standardizing and adding labels to all curbside bins, and expanding and targeting polypropylene and aluminum collection.
The IRC “hopes the investment ideas proposed within the report garner the interest of local, state and national funders.” And, in the longer term, the researchers hope the report will help Indiana reach its 50% recycling goal, as well as increase the efficiency and sustainability of recycling programs in the region.
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