all about our natural energy resources

How To Set Up A Neighborhood Recycling Program

by Genesis Allen

Not all towns are lucky enough to have a curbside recycling program, or the program may only take a few limited items, like newspaper. If you are trying to minimize waste and do the environmentally responsible thing, that may mean long trips to various recycling centers to drop off your recyclables. Fortunately, there is a better way. The following guide can help you better understand community-led programs and how you can set one up.

Learn the costs

You will need to educate yourself on the possible options before approaching your neighbors. First, begin by contacting local waste disposal companies and inquire into what options they have for recycling. For a small area, such as your block, your most cost effective option will likely be a single pick-up point. Get a collection of costs for various services so you can put together a neighborhood meeting to vote on the preferred option.

Look into ease of use

Some waste disposal companies are easier to use for a small neighborhood pickup. Look for companies that offer single stream recycling when possible. The benefit here is that neither you nor your neighbors need to separate your recyclables – paper and plastic can intermingle in the same bin. People are more likely to use the system if it is easy. Also, ask about the pickup receptacles. In some cases, the waste company provides them as part of their service, while others may require that you either supply your own or rent an approved receptacle. You will need to be armed with this information before approaching your neighbors.

Host a meeting

Once you have the details, invite your neighbors over to talk about it. Make it a pleasant event with snacks and drinks, or perhaps even host a small backyard barbecue. Things you will need to bring up include the following:

  • Overall cost of each option and how payments will be made. For example, will the participants make a monthly, weekly, or yearly payment and who will they make the payments to?

  • Any infrastructure you may need help with. For example, if a large receptacle is to be placed behind your home, will you need help clearing the area or erecting a privacy screen to prevent it from being an eyesore?

  • How the various options work. Make sure to have as much information as possible so everyone can make an informed decision.

  • Benefits of the program. While most people know the environmental benefits, there may be others. For example, everyone will save time and gas if they no longer drive to the recycling center. Or, in areas where garbage pickup depends on the receptacle size, having less in the garbage and more in recycling may lead to lower trash pickup fees. Both of these benefits can help offset the cost of the program.

With a little bit of research and some planning, you and your neighbors can take a more environmentally responsible stance on waste disposal. For more information, contact professionals like B-P Trucking Inc.​