I’m curious — Why aren’t more Wacoans recycling?

by Anna Dunbar

I often wonder why we don’t have more people participating in curbside recycling in Waco. We have about one-third of our Waco households participating in the blue cart recycling program now, but why don’t more households participate? After all, participation is pretty easy and it is available with no extra fee! We even have a recycling drop-off center that accepts recyclables from those who do not have easy access to curbside recycling service. Let me explain:

Curbside recycling is available at no extra charge!

trash talk flyerIf you are a Waco resident with Waco trash service with a grey trash cart, you can have curbside recycling at no extra charge. Put all recyclables together in your blue curbside recycling cart:

A. Any paper that is clean and will tear.

B. Metals such as aluminum cans, aluminum baking tins, steel (tin) food cans and lids. No need to rinse soda cans unless you just want to (ants!), please do rinse food cans.

C. Plastics, all colors, numbers 1 thru 7 and plastic bags.

D. Please do not put glass or Styrofoam into your recycling cart.  Glass of all colors may be taken to the Cobbs Recycling Center located on 44th Street between Cobbs Drive and Trice Avenue. For more information, call (254) 751-8536 or go to waco-texas.com.

Recycling is not hard!

The City of Waco has made it pretty simple. You put all recyclables in one blue cart, loose. The blue cart system is intended to be hassle free, no sorting! If you are new to recycling, you do not have to recycle everything possible, just start with a couple of categories. For example, if your household has magazines, cardboard and newspaper, start with that! Later you can add water bottles, soft drink bottles and aluminum cans such as soda cans. Those items require minimal preparation for recycling, and everyone knows what they are, cutting down on decisions and confusion. Your recycling day is the same day as your trash day, but every other week. If you do not remember which week to set out your blue recycling cart, go to Waco-texas.com or call (254) 299-2612 for a solid waste and recycling calendar. Or if your neighbors recycle at curbside, copy what they do!

It’s easy to get a blue cart!

If you do not have a blue recycling cart, you can pick one up at the Cobbs Recycling Center, 2021 44th Street, or the Operations Center, 501 Schroeder Drive. Please bring your water bill and proof of Waco residency. If you are unable to pick up your cart, please call (254) 299-2612 to request delivery of the cart.

Still think it’s not worth it?

Think again! Your reduced waste can make a difference for the environment and for our landfill. If every Waco household recycled everything they could, it would make such a great impact on the amount of waste going to our landfill! It is estimated that about 50% of the trash we generate in the US is recyclable. That is important because it is estimated that the Waco landfill has a remaining life of just twelve years. What that means is that Waco will have to expand the landfill within the next twelve years in order to contain our ever increasing “mountain of trash”! I think we all want to save landfill space because doing so delays the expenditure of money to expand our landfill.

Come on, Wacoans, join me in keeping Waco Clean and Green!

anna_dunbarThis week’s Act Locally Waco blog post is by Anna Dunbar. Anna is the Recycling and Public Outreach Administrator for the City of Waco Solid Waste Services. She is responsible for informing Waco residents and businesses about recycling and waste reduction opportunities as well as solid waste services in Waco. Her husband is a Baylor professor and her daughter is a senior at Trinity University. She serves on board of Keep Waco Beautiful and is a member of The Central Texas Audubon Society and Northwest Waco Rotary. If you would be interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco blog, please email ashleyt@actlocallywaco.org .  

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