Recycling program will save city $3 million in landfill fees
Lisa Dame will be the first of more than 50,000 residents on the Westside to receive their 64-gallon recycling carts.
It will be delivered personally by Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman, who hopes to see around 227,000 homes taking advantage of the new city of Columbus service.
The city approximates it will save about $3 million in landfill fees per year by using the recycling carts. According to Environmental Steward Erin Miller, the city spent $15 million in fees last year.
“We’re expecting the recycling program to divert 50 to 60 thousand tons,” Miller said.
All of Franklin County shares the same landfill. By extending its life the need to build new landfills is reduced. Nobody wants to see household garbage in their backyard, Miller said.
Sixty percent of the items carried to the Franklin County Landfill could be recycled. Recent efforts by entities in the county have prolonged the landfill’s life by another decade. Columbus’ initiative will add 1.5 years.
“Recycling is the first step residents have in going green,” Miller said. “It goes a long way to changing the culture of our community and feels like we’re making a difference.”
According to Miller, the new service will bring more jobs to Columbus. Recycling is a $22.5 billion business in Ohio, responsible for 100,000 jobs.
Since 80 percent of the recycled materials will stay within 150 miles of the city, the ability for local companies to save transportation costs on raw materials is an incentive to hire more employees.
Statistics from the city show recycling 10,000 tons of waste creates 36 jobs, while putting the same amount in a landfill creates six jobs. The creation of jobs also generates more revenue for the city through income taxes.
The city saw 60 new jobs open directly from the development of the recycling program. Rumpke of Ohio, Inc. hired additional drivers and added another shift at its processing facilities.
Miller said the city prides itself on being green. Last year the Columbus was named to have greenest fleet in North America for its use of compressed natural gas for its vehicles. On April 17, the city will open the largest compressed natural gas station in the Midwest.
Sometime in April the city also plans to release a children’s book, which will be a children’s component to the Green Spot program – an educational and peer learning initiative.
Residents should receive their carts citywide by Feb. 23. Miller said once people get their carts at the curb to pull it to their house and put an address on the white label on top of the container.