New video explains Cincinnati’s enhanced recycling program

Cincinnati recently became the largest Midwestern city to implement RecycleBank, a rewards program, as part of the city’s enhanced recycling program. The program began operating throughout parts of the city in early October, and the City has released a new video explaining all the details about the new program.

The video was produced by City Council member, and award-winning investigative reporter, Laure Quinlivan who also serves as the Chair of the Mayor’s Green Steering Committee.

“Enhanced recycling will help the environment and eventually save city taxpayers a million dollars a year,” Quinlivan said in a prepared release. “I can’t wait to get the new 96-gallon recycling cart delivered to my home so I can stop overflowing the little green bin every week.”

City officials delivered the second round of recycling carts to approximately 25,000 homes in October, and expect to complete distribution city-wide by February 2011. The first data surrounding initial operations of the new program will become available in mid-November, but Cincinnati Office of Environmental Quality director Larry Falkin believes the success can be seen on the streets.

“Driving down street routes before, I’d see a recycling bin here or there,” Falkin explained. “But now, you can see that residents are responding positively to the enhanced recycling program. The new carts now line the streets on pick up days. Residents are responding to having the option to recycle more with the new recycling carts and getting rewarded for their green actions with RecycleBank Points.”

  • Patrick

    Be careful there at the end Councilwoman Quinlivan – pizza boxes are not often recyclable due to food grease residue.

  • Zack

    1) Im happy that the city is proactive and encouraging on this front. Long overdue, but they seem to be going about it in a good way

    2) What im not happy about is the catering to suburb dwellers. I have to lug my recyclables 5 blocks to the library, with no coupons or incentive, other than to save the planet. The program does not provide barrels to apt complexes with more than 6 units.

    Seems ridiculous, because on trash day, we have 6 containers there. And furthermore, wouldn’t it be easier to have complexes or buildings all with their containers together, instead of stopping every 60 – 150 feet on the street?

    I also wonder how sustainable the program is if people start to recycle at alarming rates. someone is compensating for the coupons.

    I do wish they would go by the # system for the plastics. Pretty sure all plastics require a # labeled in the recycle symbol.

  • I agree with Zach that the program is both long overdue and also a symbol of the undercurrent of progressive thought that often goes unrecognized in this city.

    I also echo the sentiment that recycling isn’t particularly easy for apartment dwellers. Last year in a 10-15 unit building, I would drive my recycles to Xavier and put them in their bins. Probably not the most effective use of my time or my gas, but hey, I wanted to recycle. Now I live in a 2 unit converted house. We have one of the small rectangular recycle bins for the 6 people living in my building. It constantly overflows and we end up throwing a lot of our trash out.

    Finally, I have heard that many offices in the city choose not to recycle because it is not picked up the way that the trash is picked up. With the amount of paper waste that many offices generate, I certianly hope the city considers finding a solution for this.

  • Justin

    I live downtown and we have bins. I’m able to recycle more than 50% of my trash. Saves on trash bags.

  • Salamander

    Great idea that really only scratches the surface of what Enhanced Recycling can be. Plastic and aluminum are so focused on that paper and wood products are being wasted needlessly.