Phase One of the new ‘Buffalo Green Cart Recycling Program’ is set to begin this week, an initiative designed to raise revenue for the city, reduce landfill expense, and help stabilize the residential garbage user fee.

At the present time, if residents have a 65 or 95 gallon garbage cart, they will receive a 64 gallon recycling cart.  Residents with 35 gallon garbage carts will receive a 35 gallon cart.

“The goal of ‘Buffalo Green Cart Recycling’ is to increase the collection rate from 8% of total street curbside collection to 16%”, said Mayor Brown.  “The carts are easier for citizens to maneuver, have a lid which prevents littering, and hold more than the small blue bins we now use.  In addition, we will save money by collecting recycling every other week, which means fewer trucks on the road, and less air pollution.”

While garbage collection will remain every week, bi-weekly recyclable collection is scheduled to begin in March.  A schedule of the upcoming bi-weekly recycling schedule and other information will be attached to the carts when they are delivered. The schedule for the implementation of the program and other information can also found on the city website,, Channel 22, and by calling 311.

“We encourage city residents to use their new recycling carts immediately,” said Mayor Brown.  “Residents should start to follow their new bi-weekly schedule as soon as they get their carts.”

Each of the carts will contain an RFID (radio frequency identification) tag to allow the city to accurately identify tonnage collected. With RFID tags in place, the city can keep track of inventory, and also measure the weight of recyclables to make sure the city is getting the proper reimbursement from the vendor.

Under this new initiative, residents can put all recyclable material into the new roll out cart, including paper, plastic and metal.  When putting out recyclables, residents should rinse/clean containers, and be sure to place the recycling cart at the curb so the lid arrows face the street.  The same laws for garbage carts also apply for these new recycling carts.

Currently, the city collects $480,000 for about 8000 tons of recyclables a year.  Based on national averages from other cities that have implemented similar programs, the city is expected to collect $960,000, once it doubles its curbside collection of recyclables.

The city’s current weekly recycling program costs $1.9 million a year for collection only. With the new initiative, it will cost $1.2 million a year which includes collection and the new carts.

The total for the first 4 years of operating this cart program will be $1.85 million annually. After the 4 year lease is complete, the city will claim full ownership and the cost will drop to a total of $1.2 million annually.  Reducing cost and increasing collectables has been a proven way of saving taxpayers money.  We are looking to make recycling part of everyday life, at work, home and at play.