San Francisco: The city of San Francisco has partnered with private company Recology to provide curbside removal of recycling, trash and compostable material in three different bins. Residents pay Recology directly for their services. Ordinances passed in San Francisco make it mandatory for the city to recycle 75 percent of all waste after 2010 and 100 percent by 2020.
Los Angeles: According to their website, the Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation collects over 240,000 tons of recyclables annually. The city operates the largest residential curbside recycling program in the United States, offering services to 530,000 single family homes and 220,000 small multi-family units. In 2009, Waste & Recycling News reported that Los Angeles had the highest recycling rate out of the 10 largest U.S. cities.
New York City: The city Department of Sanitation Bureau of Waste Prevention, Reuse and Recycling runs New York’s recycling program. They offer services ranging from curbside collection to leaf and Christmas tree collection, as well as chlorofluorocarbon (C.F.C.) evacuation. While most businesses in New York use a private recycling company for their waste, the city collects between 366,000 and 423,000 tons of mixed paper recyclables per year from residents alone. In 2009, Waste & Recycling News reported that New York’s recycling rate ranked third out of the 10 largest U.S. cities.
Indianapolis: The Department of Public Works will remove curbside recycling for a monthly fee that residents may pay, or they may drop off their own recyclables at locations all over the city. Private recycling company Abitibi Bowater collects paper at many local grocery stores and donates some of the proceeds to a tree-planting fund in Marion County, Indiana.
Houston: The Solid Waste Management Department offers curbside and automated recycling, as well as removal of yard waste in compostable bags. According to their website, 19,000 homes participate in the curbside recycling program, and an additional 70,000 homes receive curbside recycling service from automated vehicles. In 2009, Waste & Recycling News reported that Houston’s recycling rate ranked ninth out of the 10 largest U.S. cities.
Seattle: The city of Seattle organizes free curbside recycling for its residents, with pickup every other week. By law, recyclable items like glass bottles and paper are forbidden from being part of garbage removal. Larger recyclable items like tires and yard waste may be dropped off at sites around Seattle.
Portland: The city Bureau of Planning and Sustainability hired 20 different waste removal companies for curbside recycling service. The city sets the fee per pickup, and each resident is given a green cart for yard waste and a blue cart for recyclable materials.
For more information on Chicago’s recycling history, check out the Chicago Recycling Coalition’s website.
Would you pay a monthly fee for citywide recycling? Sound off on our discussion board!