Ohio waste authority sees sharp decline in use of recycling drop-off bins
- The Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) has seen use of its public recycling drop-off sites decline by almost 50% since 2011, as reported by The Columbus Dispatch.
- SWACO removed 15 containers within Franklin County, leaving 180 remaining. Illegal dumping and contamination have become an increasing issue. Up to 25% of the material put in the bins is not recyclable, such as construction and demolition debris, furniture and electronics.
- A task force now monitors the sites and checks the bins for improper dumping. SWACO will also be evaluating the program over the next six months, with plans to introduce new pilot ideas and increase recycling education.
Columbus didn't have curbside recycling until 2012, so bins used to be the only option for residents who wanted to recycle. Now many see them as a back-up site for when their bins are full or they generate large amounts of waste from special projects. Opinions on the bins are mixed and SWACO has indicated it would prefer to direct more resources to improving residential recycling programs.
The Delaware Solid Waste Authority has also cut back drop-off centers as more residents gain access to curbside programs. Fencing and site attendants have been added to cut down on similar illegal dumping issues to what SWACO has been experiencing with success so far. Drop-off programs have also become a popular option for glass recycling in cities such as Houston and New Orleans that have suspended the material from their curbside programs.
According to a new study from the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, about 21% of U.S. residents with access to recycling only have drop-off programs and not curbside. This can make sense for less densely populated areas that don't allow for efficient curbside collection, but seem to be on the way out in most municipalities of any significant size.
- The Columbus Dispatch SWACO may trash its recycling drop boxes
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