Since the City of Hagerstown’s new recycling program launched on January 1, recycling is up 28% in the first four weeks compared to the same period last year. At that rate, Hagerstown could recycle enough materials to fill the lake at City Park in less than a year! Still, there are even more positive changes on the way for city residents.
Recycling tonnages weighed in at 76.2 tons in the first four weeks of 2011 compared to 97.8 tons in 2012. Rodney Tissue, City Engineer who has been overseeing the transition to the new program, says, "The initial results are very encouraging that we are on the right track toward improving our recycling program. Just going to single-stream and the convenience of setting out all items in one night has shown significant results." As expected, less trash is being collected as well; 878 tons of trash were thrown away in the first four weeks of 2011. In 2012, that number fell to 827 tons.
Residents will soon have more reasons to recycle with the launch of the incentive program and the roll-out of new recycling totes. Residents will be receiving a postcard in the mail, asking them to specify which size cart they would like based on their recycling habits. If the City does not receive a response, a default tote will be issued; this has been determined by the size and type of your home:
· Townhome-type structures: 35 gallon tote
· Apartments: 95 gallon tote
· All other residences: 65 gallon tote
Each cart also has wheels and a hinged lid, making it easier to set out your recycleables each week. The new recycling carts will be delivered to homes between April 10 - 22.
April also marks the start of the recycling incentive program. The City of Hagerstown is working with Waste Management and Recyclebank, a program that rewards people based on how much they recycle. The Waste Management hauler will read a unique identifying chip in each tote when recycling is collected, and residents will earn points for participating. Those points can be redeemed for gift certificates to local businesses or donated to city schools for green education programs.
"The distribution of the totes and the immediate launch of the Recyclebank program will push recycling rates higher," Tissue adds. "Programs like we are implementing have as much as doubled the recycling rates in other communities." Each household must register their recycling tote on-line to participate in the program.