Akron, OH

Another round of Recycle Right campaign in Akron to improve curbside recycling

James Stephens

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AKRON - The City of Akron has announced its relaunching of the successful Recycle Right campaign. The campaign is a communitywide initiative aiming to improve the quality of recycling as well as providing residents with personalized, real-time curbside recycling education and feedback. Once again, the city will perform this campaign in partnership with Keep Akron Beautiful, ReWorks, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, and The Recycling Partnership.

The program will run from Monday, June 7th, until the end of August, and it will include mobilizing trained personnel to ensure the observation of curbside carts. Residents with non-recyclable items in their recycling carts will receive an informational “Oops” tag on their carts. They will also receive direct feedback to improve their recycling cart contents. Residents will be given a chance to correct the mistake and return the cart to the curb the week after.

The Mayor of Akron, Dan Horrigan, said that “recycling is not just the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do.” Proper recycling saves taxpayers money because the cost of dumping at the landfill is reduced. In addition to that, residents are also actively involved in battling climate change. This campaign helps the residents of Akron to know how to recycle properly to then create a more sustainable and effective recycling program.

Before the city began this campaign in 2019, the contamination rate of recyclables was as high as 39.3%— this costs the city more than $200,000. After running the Recycle Right campaign, the rate dropped to approximately 26%, bringing the contamination cost down to $38,038.

The success of this campaign is still ongoing, and the most recent audit reported that the contamination rate for recycling is at a mere 21.6%. This year, Akron fastens its seat belts to achieve further improvements and bring down the contamination rate to as little as 15% or less.

To help residents decide what can and cannot be recycled, the city has created the free Akron Recycles app. This app allows residents to search for items and learn whether it belongs in the trash bin, the recycling bin, or in the curb. It also has a feature for customized alerts and reminders regarding curbside pickup. The app is available to download for free on Apple or Android devices.

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