Archive for Friday, August 29, 2008

City recycling rate surpasses national average

Lawrence residents are recycling at a higher rate than the national average.

August 29, 2008


A new report has found that Lawrence's recycling rate is above the national average, thanks in large part to collection efforts by the private sector.

The report by the city's solid waste division estimated Lawrence's recycling rate in 2007 at 35 percent, which is above the 32.5 percent national average estimated by the EPA.

Mayor Mike Dever said he was impressed with the findings, especially given that the city doesn't operate a curbside recycling program.

"We're relying on private entities and citizens to do a lot of the work that municipalities do in other communities," Dever said. "It says a lot about how committed people are to recycling here."

The report, though, doesn't do a lot to settle the question of whether the city should start a curbside recycling program, which several residents have urged.

Dever said he needed to analyze further how the high volume of recycled material collected by the private sector - primarily through the Wal-Mart Recycling Center - should play into the city's decision to start a curbside recycling program.

"I think there might be demand for a city service if the price were right, but I'm not sure it is something the city can get into right now," Dever said. "The downside is that I don't want to supplant private enterprise or what private citizens already are doing on their own."

Kathy Richardson, the city's waste reduction and recycling supervisor, said the city in 2007 started collecting mixed paper - such as cereal boxes and other paper packaging - for the first time. The city started with two drop-off points, but have since added four more.

But Richardson said staff and the city's Sustainability Advisory Board are still reviewing whether there are other feasible ways to expand recycling in the city.

"The city still has a targeted approach when it comes to recycling," Richardson said. "But our goal is to be better each year. Our goal is to increase recycling every year."

Recycled items

Some key findings of the report:

¢ The community recycled 30,314 tons of material in 2007, up from 28,814 tons in 2006.

¢ 15,567 tons of material were recycled through city programs. The remaining 14,747 tons were recycled through private collection efforts.

¢ The recycling efforts saved the city $580,513 in landfill tipping fees.

¢ The city sold some recycled materials, mainly cardboard, for $228,022.

¢ Grass leaves and brush were the most frequent type of materials recycled through the city's programs. Yard waste accounted for 86 percent of all the recycling collected.

¢ Paper materials including newspapers, cardboard and chipboard were the most frequent types of materials recycled through the private programs, with paper accounting for 21 percent.


Gail Grant 9 years, 9 months ago

In the place we lived in CA we had two seperate garbage cans. One was general and the other was split into two, to paper products and to cans and bottles. In the trash collection days the city would come with another type of truck which was holding the recycled material. It was very convinient and as oppose to today where we need to drive to Wal-mart, we didn't need to spend the gas to do it, so almost everyone did it...

Satirical 9 years, 9 months ago

I sometimes give liberals a hard time, but I do have to give them credit for their willingness to recycle. They recycle the same Presidential candidate every 4 years, and recycle the same rhetoric claiming government can solve all of life's problems.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 9 months ago

If Lawrence can do 35% under the current plan it seems reasonable Lawrence could do 50%-60% is due time.

blakus 9 years, 9 months ago

One of the largest e-waste recycling businesses in our region recently went under which is sad. I can't wait until landfills are excavated to reclaim valuable metals such as copper and gold... only a matter of time and desperation.

Sandra Willis 9 years, 9 months ago

We have been recycling through TreeHuggers for a few years now. I have no complaints of them; I just wish they would answer the calls we have made.

SettingTheRecordStraight 9 years, 9 months ago

Thank you, Wal Mart, for making recyling in Lawrence very easy!

pace 9 years, 9 months ago

bob Yoo's is not to be trusted for his numbers. We should have curbside collection of paper/cardboard. Every home and business has plenty, Fair market and little hazard. About time!!!!!!

pace 9 years, 9 months ago

Like any business or enterprise one should look for references or reputation. I say stay away from Marion. Private curbside collection in Lawrence have had some excellent people and some real clunkers. Jeffs is very good. One can not say what the mpg for curbside is until the collection method is spelled out. I prefer offering contracts to current curbside providers to pick up at every house, once a week or once a month. One could divide up the town in sections and take bids, one should set a cap on the bid. The cap should be based on what the city projects it would cost them to do it. One should get anyone but Yoos to do those figures. He is almost a crackpot. I hope that we start with paper and cardboard pick ups and stage other materials as collection costs are explored and access to markets are identified.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 9 months ago

Marion you were sending your stuff to the dump. It was a matter of accountability so I heard.

zzgoeb 9 years, 9 months ago

marion and merrill should have an ulitmate cage match for king of the boards..oh wait, merrill sites facts, links to relevent stories, while Marion whines, calls names, and now we FINALLY know his real problem...he went broke and now must KILL THE EVIL HIPPIES!!!

zzgoeb 9 years, 9 months ago

Marion,so that makes you a angry-neocon/wealthy-greedhead???

pace 9 years, 9 months ago

i don't think it was a plot by ecos that restricted Marions business. Consumers or customers get to know someone, word spreads. He was unpleasant, unreliable, and kind of creepy. Businesses who satisfies their clients deserve references. Businesses who don't know how to do what they say they can do should go out of business. Business is hard, sometimes it is hard luck, sometimes economic fortune, many things are against small business but if one doesn't satisfy the customer it is harder to overcome the adversities.

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