Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Every few days I load up my car with my recycling to take to Kroger on N. High. This never goes well for me. Either I forget to drop them off and my car ends up smelling like a mix of stale Diet Pepsi and red wine for a few days or I take a corner too fast and I end up with juice bottles wedged under my seat. I could simply pay for curbside recycling and end my self-inflicted suffering but I refuse to solely on principle. So the question is why should people be allowed to throw as much as they want in the trash can when it costs to recycle?

And now a vent followed by a suggestion.

To give Columbus credit, recycling collection sites and curbside recycling do exist and the City did experiment with the blue bag recycling for a short while. While these available options are better than not having any recycling programs, what we do have is insufficient and certainly not advancing environmentally friendly practices by the City. Mayor Coleman continually boasts his Get Green initiative but the plan is not all encompassing and only highlights his successes (i.e. Lazarus) and not what he is failing to do. Coleman has an awesome opportunity to make a bold decision and institute free curbside recycling but he fails to do so citing a promise made in the 1950's not to charge for waste collection. His lack of initiative reflects an overall complacency with maintaining the status quo.

Sorry, I got worked up. So if Mayor Coleman believes that people will not pay for trash collection how about starting an incentive-based recycling program similar to Philadelphia's Recycle Bank. This recommendation may sound familiar since it played on NPR this morning.
Recycle-Bank distributes green containers with identifying bar codes free of charge to any city resident. Collection trucks scan and weigh the containers to see how much is being recycled. Each participating household can earn up to 35 USD per month in the form of coupons to be used toward purchases at a major chain such as Starbucks. Participants can track and redeem their points online. Recycle-Bank makes a profit by charging the municipality about 24-30 USD per participating household which the City makes up in money saved in landfill fees.

I think this is a brilliant option that needs to be further explored by the City of Columbus. For more information on Recycle Bank, visit Their pig/trashcan logo alone is worth the visit alone.


Jen said...

Ooh! I like that pigtrashcan quite a bit. He'd look really nice in front of my house!

This Recycle Bank idea is great! I'd love to see something like this implemented here. Recycling makes me happy, and no (or minimal) net cost makes municipalities happy.

Anonymous said...

I understand where your coming from, but confused about the whole money talk. I do pay for my trash pick and I don't see how paying $5.00 extra a month $60 a year to do my part is the least I could do.... I mean, this could be job opportunies, someone needs a salary to work trash pick... The program sounds nice, but why do we believe we should get something out of it... When it is just the right thing to do.