- Waste Management has suspended a plan to track which customers were responsible for recycling contamination in parts of Arkansas due to issues with training staff on the technology, as reported by Arkansas Online.
- Curbside contamination rates in the Little Rock area have been as high as 40%. A monitoring program began in June to photograph the offending carts, issue violations and potentially revoke recycling access, though this ended after about two weeks.
- Instead, the company will now focus on education over the next 60 days in partnership with the Regional Recycling and Waste Reduction District. This will include mailers as well as ads on TV and radio.
Municipalities around the country have tried a range of violation-based approaches to address this issue. San Antonio has been photographing the serial numbers of carts with contamination and sending warnings to the household. Repeat violations can result in fines, though officials say the point is not to make money.
Adding contamination enforcement to the duties of collection workers is a tricky prospect and education is often seen as the more preferable approach. Waste Management has had success with door-to-door education in the Seattle area and The Recycling Partnership is currently studying new methods in select areas.