City of Columbus residential recycling goes weekly in June

The city of Columbus is expanding curbside collection of residential recycling containers to weekly service beginning the week of June 12.

The expanded city service, versus the current biweekly collection, is expected to increase the amount of recyclables collected by 25 to 40 percent, divert these items from the landfill, and help meet the manufacturing need for recoverable materials.

“Recycling supports jobs and a circular economy to help our community and neighborhoods thrive,” said Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther. “It is an important tool to reduce carbon emissions, extend the life of the landfill, and meet critical Columbus Climate Action Plan goals for a healthier, more equitable and sustainable community.”

Of the locally collected recyclables, 95 percent go to businesses in the U.S., and the vast majority of the recoverable materials are used by manufacturers in Ohio and the midwest. Climate Action Plan goals include diverting 95 percent of recyclables from the landfill and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

The enhancement to weekly recycling pickup was identified by Ginther as a priority in his proposed 2023 operating budget. Since then, the Department of Public Service’s Refuse Collection Division, with recycling collection partner Rumpke Waste & Recycling, have been working on an implementation plan.

“We continuously strive to provide exceptional core service delivery to residents and neighborhoods every day, and intend to meet that high bar with weekly recycling,” said Jennifer Gallagher, public service director. “Refuse Collection is a leader in the city’s efforts to reduce and divert recyclables and waste going to the landfill.”

SWACO Executive Director Joe Lombardi joined the city and Rumpke Waste & Recycling to celebrate the implementation of weekly residential recycling service.

“Bold initiatives and collaborations among the public and private sectors such as the implementation of weekly recycling services for individuals in the city of Columbus will help our region meet our diversion goals,” said Lombardi. “Not only will this new weekly recycling program provide an opportunity to increase the amount of recyclables kept out of the landfill, and extend the life of the landfill, but it will also help to create a steady supply of additional materials benefiting the nearly 400 recycling-reliant businesses that call our region home.”

Approximately 22,000 city households will be notified via a letter mailed to their address before June 12 that their recycling pickup day is changing. The city and Rumpke have worked to minimize collection day schedule changes while ensuring timely service will be provided.

In addition, all Columbus households will receive a mailer prior to the start of weekly collection with information about the expanded service and how to Recycle Right by placing acceptable recyclables in your blue container.

“Increasing the frequency of recycling to a weekly pickup is important because it will reduce the amount of waste sent to our SWACO landfill and help families reduce the amount of waste going in their waste receptacle,” said councilman Emmanuel Remy, chair of the environment committee. “Columbus residents and businesses continue to improve and increase their recycling habits, and this monumental change will benefit the next generation and beyond.”

Yard waste collection will remain on the current biweekly schedule. Residents are encouraged to reduce the amount of yard waste set out for collection by composting, mulching, and leaving grass clippings on lawns for healthy fertilization.

Residents may sign up at columbus.gov/publicservice/Refuse-Collection/ to receive reminders of their scheduled collection days for recycling, yard waste, and trash.

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