New ideas encourage recycling in New Brighton

December 7, 2012 by  

In 2012, New Brighton joined other communities in ‘single-stream’ recycling – a system where residents can place all recyclable items into one bin. Now, the Twin Cities is taking that one step further.

The system has already boosted the volume of recycled materials by 12%, proving that residents will recycle more if it is made easy and there are no special trucks and no multi-colored array of carts in the back alley. A company called Randy’s Environmental Service has now implemented a blue-bag system for compostable material. Kitchen scrap and left over food is put into a blue compostable bag and thrown into the regular trash. At the plant, workers simply pick the blue bags out of the garbage. The cost is $100 a year for this service, but it is a step towards encouraging Americans to compost that 13% of garbage that typically ends up in landfills.

Brochure printers could be used to explain to residents what kinds of items can be recycled or composted, as confusion is no doubt part of the reason whyy recycling rates are not as high as they could be.

Randy’s Environmental Service spokesman Jim Wollschlager said:

“You can recycle organics without buying extra trucks, carts, etc. Any hauler could do this.”

Those who choose not to compost at home can expect more programs such as Randy’s to pop up as soon as infrastructure is expanded to accommodate organic recyclables. Many communities have no facilities to accommodate organic waste, which includes leaves, lawn clippings, and Christmas trees.