Columbus’ curb-side recycling program is popular

Columbus’ curb-side recycling program is proving to be a success.

The city has offered this free service to most its residents since February. Columbus RecyclesCity Spokesman Mike Nolting says that curb-side recycling is available for single-family city residences and apartments with no more than four units that are currently city sanitation customers.

The program collects recycling materials, curbside every other week at residents’ homes for no additional user fees, said Nolting. He says that all materials currently recyclable in Columbus will be accepted as part of the service, as well as additional plastics materials currently not accepted in Columbus. Nolting adds that no sorting of materials is required.

More than half of the city’s eligible customers are utilizing the service, said Nolting. He says that 51-percent of the city’s 16,839 sanitation customers participate in the program. This has necessitated the purchase of a second recycling truck, Nolting added. City officials say that, so far, the program has prevented 1,556 tons of recyclable material from entering the landfill.

“The enthusiastic support from the public demonstrates how valuable and important residents view their responsibility to be conscientious caretakers of the environment,” Mayor Kristen Brown said.

In addition to saving landfill space, officials say that recycling benefits the air and water by creating a net reduction in ten major categories of air pollutants, eight major categories of water pollutants and saves raw materials. Along with the environmental benefits, advocates say that recycling is good business for Indiana. Reports say that recycling employs 75,000 statewide, generating $19 billion in revenue, $3 billion in payroll and generates $285 million in state tax revenue.