"Feet on the Street" Recycling Info. Campaign Begins
on June 1, 2020
SPOKANE COUNTY, May 27, 2020 – If you have curbside recycling, then a special information campaign may be coming soon to your neighborhood. “Feet on the Street” (part of Spokane County’s “Recycle Right” outreach program) will begin on June 1, 2020. Residents on 30 routes within Spokane County will see a special tag attached to their blue recycling cart. The tag will have information about what is – and is not – recyclable. The purpose is simple – to reduce the contamination of recycled materials.
For the past couple of years Spokane County and the major waste haulers that offer curbside recycling (City of Spokane, Sunshine Disposal and Recycling, and Waste Management) have noticed a significant increase in the contamination of recycled materials. It’s caused by putting non-recyclable items into your recycling cart. These items must then be removed when the recycling is sorted at the material sorting facility, which takes extra time, and makes recycling more expensive and less financially feasible. Also, it can damage equipment, and can put workers at risk.
The Spokane County Regional Solid Waste System received a $147,000 grant from The Recycling Partnership, a national nonprofit organization. These grant funds, together with funding from a revenue-sharing agreement between Spokane County and Waste Management, will be used to print informational postcards that will be mailed the week of May 18th, hire 11 “cart taggers,” and print the cart tags for recycling carts on 30 routes within Spokane County, beginning on June 1st. Waste Management and Sunshine Disposal and Recycling customers will all receive the same flyer attached to the handle of their recycling cart, while City of Spokane customers will receive individualized feedback about contamination found in their cart. A key part of the “Feet on the Street” campaign is that the cart-tagging will be repeated for three weeks.
In the fall of 2018, Spokane County and the three haulers came together for a much smaller effort that involved only a few routes within the county. Three members of that team gave a presentation on their experience at a solid waste conference in spring 2019.
The Recycling Partnership was impressed by the presentation, and the county’s multi-hauler partnerships, and approached the team. Through 2019, discussions continued about an expanded cart tagging program and in early 2020, The Recycling Partnership offered Spokane County a grant of $147,000 to expand the project scope to tagging 30 different routes, four times each.
The entire local team is excited to be pursuing this type of tangible recycling education and outreach to residents, and knows that Spokane County is a special place that thrives on public-private partnerships to create positive change.
About The Recycling Partnership
The Recycling Partnership (recyclingpartnership.org) is a national nonprofit organization that leverages corporate partner funding to transform recycling for good in states, cities, and communities across the U.S. As the only organization in the country that engages the full recycling supply chain from the corporations that manufacture products and packaging to local governments charged with recycling to industry end markets, haulers, material recovery facilities, and converters; The Recycling Partnership positively impacts recycling at every step in the process.
The Recycling Partnership has served more than 1,500 communities and counting with best-in-class tools, data, resources and technical support. The organization has helped place more than 700,000 recycling carts in communities, reached 77 million American households, and helped companies and communities invest more than $53 million in recycling infrastructure. In doing so, The Recycling Partnership has created meaningful social, environmental, and economic change. By the end of 2019, the nonprofit change agent estimates it diverted 230 million pounds of new recyclables from landfills, saved 465 million gallons of water, avoided more than 250,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases, and driven significant reductions in targeted contamination rates.
For more information, go to www.spokanecountysolidwaste.org.