Remember those large blue one-sort recycling bins that some residents received last fall? It turns out that not having to sort recycling makes a big difference in whether people recycle or not. Residents with the carts increased the amount they recycle by 63%.
In the first phase of the project, the city rolled out the one-sort carts to 30,000 Minneapolis homes in the hopes that it would increase the amount of material recycled by residents. Within the first six weeks of the program, participants recycled 396 additional tons of waste. The city hopes to double 2012 recycling rates by 2015.
Low recycling rates are a concern statewide. Keeping recyclable materials out of the waste stream is not only good for the environment, but also makes economic sense according to a recent report by Minnesota Public Radio. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency said that businesses that reuse recycled materials are an $8.5 billion industry and employ 15,000 people, in the MPR report.
While some Longfellow residents received their one-sort cart last fall, some blocks are still waiting on delivery. If you are still waiting on a single-sort cart, you can expect it to receive it in late April or May. To track estimated delivery dates, you can check the city’s delivery map.
Graph courtesy of the City of Minneapolis.