More recycling

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Early reports, after a week of Cape Girardeau's new trash system, indicate a significant increase in recycling. That's good news, and it shows that the ease of recycling can have a big effect.

Before the new trash system began, recycling involved separating items into various categories such as plastic, paper and glass. With the new single-stream recycling, everything that can be recycled, except glass, goes into one container -- one of two new containers provided by the city. The other container is for garbage headed for a landfill.

The number of recycling stops has increased about 70 percent -- 4,610, up from an average of 2,722. Consultants had anticipated an increase of at least 40 percent.

Even with this sizable increase in recycling stops, the figures show only 42 percent of Cape Girardeau households put out the recycling containers in the first week. This may be because recycling containers weren't full yet or because households starting to recycle are unfamiliar with which days recycling pickups are made. Information delivered with the containers explains how and when to recycle. Or the city's public works department can answer specific questions.

Easy recycling -- and the benefits to the city -- can be expected to result in further increased activity.

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