14 Ways to Improve Community Recycling Rates

Posted by Leila Dillon on 7/1/15 5:56 PM

There’s a lot to be said about improving municipal recycling efforts. It helps to keep public spaces clean, eradicate pest problems, and provide measurable environmental benefits by waste diversion from landfills. Towns can also reduce tipping costs and other expenses related to waste disposal, and increase credits recycling incentive programs.

"Even in small cities, the returns from an efficient recycling program can have quite an impact," according to the EPA. Participation in urban recycling can be challenging but it’s often due in part to the programs in place. We know that city recycling programs need to appeal to a large and diverse population. Programs focused on increasing participating help to improve recycling rates. Below are a few interesting recycling stats from the EPA's latest national survey in 2009, as reported by our friends at Keep America Beautiful:

  • Americans recovered 34% of waste generated in 2009.
  • About 9,000 curbside residential recycling programs existed in the US that year.
  • The 34% diverted waste equaled 82 million tons of recycled material.
  • This national wide recycling behavior reduced CO2 emissions in a mass equal to removing 33 million passenger vehicles from the roads.
  • The US recycling industry workforce is comprised of 1.1 million employees, generating over $236 billion in annual revenue.
  • The recyclable materials left in the US landfill waste stream would have amounted to over $7 billion if properly recycled.
  • There was 3 pounds of trash per person per day thrown away into the landfill waste stream; that is enough trash to circle the earth 24 times.

(Statistics sourced from Keep America Beautiful.)

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Topics: Urban Waste Management, Community, Recycling, Municipality

Urban Waste Management is No Laughing Matter

Posted by Leila Dillon on 6/24/15 2:25 PM

Jerry Seinfeld and Julia Louis-Dreyfus were laughing it up during a recent episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Their banter was not at all focused on urban blight but as they walked the streets you cannot help but notice how clean the streets were. Beautification and keeping public spaces clean is a top priority for most cities and towns. However, it is not always an easy task. The conditions and issues of urban waste management vary from one municipality to the next and often from one neighborhood to another just down the block.

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Topics: Urban Waste Management, Community, Recycling, Municipality

Student-Led Eco Impact at The University of British Columbia

Posted by Bigbelly on 10/17/14 3:02 PM

A student elevated his interest for sustainability initiatives to fruition at the University of British Columbia Okanagan campus. Each year, the college opts to pursue some type of sustainability initiatives but it is difficult for the staff to keep track of everything available. When Joshua walked around campus and garbage bins were full, he thought of the Bigbelly solar compactors seen in a local town. The university worked with this student to deliver this sustainability opportunity to campus. The campus courtyard is the “epicenter” to optimize reduction in pickup frequency, which has changed from waste pick up every day to only once a week. When a passion hits home, students really can make a difference and an environmental impact!

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Topics: Recycling, Higher Education, College, Sustainability

Bigbelly offers a multi-purpose platform for building smarter cities. We are uniquely positioned as a public right-of-way platform that modernizes public space waste management, delivers Smart City solutions, and hosts communications infrastructure. Join us as we think Beyond the Bin!

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