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Need to Know
curbside recycling

SWACO’s New Cart Program to Enhance Recycling for Ohio Communities

The new initiative offers Franklin County, Ohio, communities a 50 percent reduction in the cost to purchase carts.

The Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) is launching a new program to help Franklin County communities purchase curbside recycling carts for about $22.50 per cart—a 50 percent reduction in price.

While more than 96 percent of Franklin County single-family households have access to curbside recycling pickup, many communities still use small recycling containers or bins, roughly 18 gallons in capacity, for their residential programs.

According to SWACO, the 65-gallon wheeled recycling carts provide residents and communities many advantages over the old-style recycling bins. Besides the fact that they’re much easier to take to the curb, they have a lid, which reduces litter on windy days, and the larger size makes it easier for residents to recycle more material. Wheeled carts allow for automated collection to improve the safety of collection workers and greater efficiency, both of which benefit communities as they seek competitive bids for lower-cost recycling and waste hauling services.

“Wheeled recycling carts often result in a 30 percent increase in the amount of recycling received from residents. There are lots of reasons why they are considered a ‘best practice’ in the industry, and we’re very excited to partner with our local communities to help them move to a cart-based recycling system,” said Kyle O’Keefe, director of innovation and programs at SWACO, in a statement.

SWACO will use a portion of the disposal fee collected at the Franklin County Sanitary Landfill to pay for the costs associated with purchasing the new carts. Funding for this program is available to Franklin County communities that do not currently own wheeled recycling carts.

Beginning this spring, 65-gallon or larger wheeled recycling carts with lids will be coming to more Franklin County neighborhoods. SWACO will initially provide the larger carts to five communities—representing more than 38,000 households in Bexley, Blendon Township, Gahanna, Reynoldsburg and Westerville.

Thanks to additional funding SWACO secured through a grant provided by The Recycling Partnership, a national organization that works with communities to improve and expand recycling, these first five communities will receive an even greater reduction in the cost to purchase the new, 65-gallon recycling carts. The larger carts typically cost about $45 each, but these communities will pay only $15.52 per cart, with SWACO and The Recycling Partnership contributing the rest. The grant was provided as part of the “All In On Recycling” challenge launched last summer by The Recycling Partnership and the PepsiCo Foundation.

“The city of Westerville is committed to leveraging this assistance from SWACO to help boost curbside recycling participation in our community. We believe residents will appreciate the increased capacity and ease-of-use provided by the carts,” said Kevin Weaver, director of the Westerville Public Service Department, in a statement.

“SWACO’s commitment to recycling in Franklin County is providing a powerful example of how communities can work together to grow recycling. This innovative approach is delivering enhanced recycling access through additional carts to their area residents shows the tremendous value in wasting less. Recycling with carts creates convenience for citizens, improves the efficiency of collection and is proven to grow recovery of recyclable materials,” said Rob Taylor, director of grants and community development at The Recycling Partnership, in a statement.

In addition to purchasing new carts, SWACO will use funds from The Recycling Partnership grant to provide recycling education materials to all residents around central Ohio. As part of SWACO’s ongoing “Recycle Right” program, these educational materials will include guidelines for what can and cannot be recycled in Franklin County to ensure residents are recycling effectively and efficiently.

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