Recycling makes Monroe a greener place

Apr. 06, 2013 @ 04:35 PM

Since the transition to single-stream recycling in October, Monroe residents have stepped up their recycling efforts. 

According to WastePro, through recycling residents have saved 7,004 trees, 156,560 gallons of oil, 1,236 cubic yards of landfill space, about 1.6 million kilowatts of energy, about 2.9 million gallons of water and have prevented about 1.8 million pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into the air.

The statistics are from October 2012 through February 2013.

Planning Director Lisa Stiwinter said the intent when switching to single-stream recycling was to increase recycling tonnages and participation. 

“It’s less burdensome for the residents to (not) have to separate everything,” Stiwinter said. “It’s co-mingled (and) of course provides more space and opportunity to recycle.”

Instead of the bins and having to separate recyclables, residents put all of the recyclable materials into a larger cart. It is now collected every other week, instead of every week. 

“When we converted from recycling bins to carts, there were packets of information on each cart that went to the residents,” Stiwinter said. “We try to do any public outreach and education regarding recycling as much as we can.”

The annual Monroe Earth Day event is coming up, where residents can drop off their recycling. 

In the past, there were recycling incentive contests, however, they have to redesign the contest parameters to accommodate the new system. 

“We’re looking at other recycling programs to be established in the future,” Stiwinter said. 

“On behalf of the City of Monroe, I want to thank the residents for their efforts in recycling,” Stiwinter said. She added that it is making a difference in the community. 

According to a presentation given to City Council Tuesday, prior to the transition from bins to carts, the average tonnage for recycling was about 52 pounds a month, based on information from Waste Connections. Since October, tonnages have increased and in January residents recycled 182 tons. 

Also according to the presentation, the solid waste contract with WastePro includes a rebate of $10 per ton of recycling, therefore Monroe received about $7,000 for their recycling tonnages since October. The money will be used for the city’s recycling programs.