In addition to being good for the environement recycling can save a municipality signficant sums of money by reducing the amount spent on landfilling garbage.
For years city officials in Buffalo have debated how to improve its dismal recycling rate. Penalties have been discussed offering incentives has been discussed, yet Buffalo has a dismal rate of recycling 8% of all of its curbside garbage. Baltimore County Maryland has experienced record breaking recycling numbers by changing two simple items:
1) Residents are not required to sort their recycables before putting it out to the street.
2) Recycables are picked up every week. No need for residents to figure out whether this week or next is a recycling pick up and no need to have items stored for up to two weeks before a pick up. Baltimore used to do a paper pick up one week and a bottle pick up another week.
Buffalo is trying a new recycling effort by providing residents with carts to put all materials in without sorting but with a biweekly pickup. Hopefully this new effort will improve recycling.
As the success with recycling in Baltimore shows, the public wants government programs to be simple and consistent.