Curbside Collection and Drop-Off
Recycling Centers & Services;
According to the EPA, there are 8,660 community curbside recycling programs in the United States compared to 20 years ago when there was only one. This method of recycling is the most convenient way for local residents to recycle various products. The exact materials that can be placed in curbside recycling bins differ by community, but the majority of programs include the main five: glass, paper, plastic, aluminum and steel.
Curbside collection programs which currently exist include:
This program is the most common and provides each residence with a separate colored bin (typically blue) specifically designated for recycled materials. Another colored bin is provided for all remaining waste. In the recycle bin, all recyclable material is combined together and later separated once it arrives at the materials recovery facility.
Hauling companies either send a separate truck to collect recyclable materials or send one truck that is split down the middle to accommodate the collection of both types of trash.
With this method, households receive a much larger trash bin (65-94 gallons) where they discard all trash. Separation of recyclable materials versus common trash is not required. While this method is extremely easy for residents and encourages the opportunity for recycling, there is controversy surrounding the possibility of contamination. Residents may also be tempted to use the larger space to discard larger items not normally allowed with traditional 18 gallon bins.
Despite the controversy, studies are showing that with the extra space, households are discarding more recyclable items and more recyclable items actually reach facilities instead of being accidentally discarded.
It is also easier on hauling companies as they only need to send one type of truck and make one stop per household.
Instead of using tax dollars or an average monthly cost for garbage collection, the pay-as-you-throw method charges residents based on the number of trash bags collected. To encourage recycling, bags that include recyclable material are either free or heavily discounted. This places control in the hands of the residents as they can control the cost of their trash.
According to the EPA, 5,000 communities in the United States have implemented this program and have seen success. Communities are seeing a 25-35% decrease in waste and an increase of recycling from 32-59%.
In communities where curbside collection is not available consider helping your community start one. Communities may also offer drop-off locations where you can collect and drop-off your recycled items. This is also available for recyclable items that cannot be placed in curbside bins.
Verify what materials are safe to include in your bin and where to find Curbside Collection and Drop-Off locations in your area.