Over the next eight weeks city employees will be examining recycling bins in Ansley Park, Collier Heights, Grant Park and the West End to ensure they do not contain non-recyclable materials.
The city began its inspections on July 24. The inspections are a joint effort with the nonprofit The Recycling Partnership called “Feet on the Street.” The city wants to educate customers about what is and is not allowed in recycling bins.
“We’re focusing our pilot program on these four routes because although the residents in these communities actively recycle, their bins have high contamination rates,” Director of Waste Diversion and Outreach Michelle Wiseman said in a press release. “This program aims to resolve this issue by educating residents and as a result, should save taxpayer dollars.”
The teams will let residents know if their bins have prohibited items and these residents will be asked to correct it so the recycling can be collected the next week. The contamination will be noted using a smartphone app provided by Rubicon Global, an Atlanta company, and this information will be used in future education efforts, the city’s press release said.
Currently the city accepts the following items for recycling: Household paper, cardboard, unbroken glass bottles, aluminum cans and plastic containers in its single stream curbside recycling bins.
Materials that are not allowed are plastic bags, electronics, tanglers such as cords and hoses, polystyrene and building materials, the press release said. The plastic bags are the most persistent problem.
“Residents who wish to recycle plastic bags and other materials outside the accepted single stream curbside recycling bins are encouraged to drop off said materials at the Center for Hard to Recycle Materials or CHaRM located at 1110 Hill St, SE Atlanta, GA 30315,” the press release says. “While unbroken glass bottles are accepted in the single stream curbside recycling bin, other types of glass, including broken glass should be treated as a possible contaminant. The city recommends dropping off broken glass and other glass at the CHaRM Center to ensure proper sorting and recycling.”
To learn more about the city’s recycling program, click here.