City officials in Cedar Rapids, Iowa are concerned about the number of recyclables their residents are throwing out in the trash. Those doing regular tests of the garbage that is collected have found that an alarmingly high percentage of the debris can be recycled. This number is estimated to be anywhere from fifty to sixty percent. The city is hoping they can create a system that will make their residents more aware of the options they have for recycling. City officials hope they can curb the practice of simply throwing out the recyclables with the rest of the trash. Informing the general populous is their mission.

            Those living in apartments are the ones that are considered to be doing this all-in-one trash disposal the most. It’s understandable considering most complexes do not allow residents to sort their trash. It all goes down the same chute. Most of the time, there is not even a recycling waste receptacle at the ground level where all the trash is collected. If people don’t know where to put their recyclables, you can bet that they are not going to go out of their way to find out. So it’ll be interesting to see whether the approach taken in Cedar Rapids is going to work.

Starting this week and continuing until September, there will be volunteers going around door to door and talking with apartment residents. They will inform those living in these complexes of their closest recycling location. In the area there are currently three centers that can handle recycling for the citizens. It’s great that the city has taken it upon themselves to educate the population about not throwing their recyclables out with the rest of the garbage. The only question is, are these people going to do their part and start taking their recycling to the proper facility?

I think the real issue here is that apartment complexes should start taking care of their own recycling duties. That could mean residents have to go down to the bottom floor with their recycling instead of tossing it with the rest of the trash. Or they could even go one step further and provide those living in these complexes with a separate trash chute on their floor that focuses on recycling. Door to door information campaigns are admirable, but one has to wonder how many people are going to take the time to drive over their recycling to these locations.

Story Via The Gazette