For many community members, choosing whether to recycle comes down to ease of access. Accessibility is a crucial factor for recycling programs and one your community should consider. If you want to promote recycling in your city better, start by examining the accessibility of your recycling program. If it falls short, try these six ways that cities can make recycling more accessible to their communities.
Compare Your Program With Others
The first step to learning where your community can improve is to compare it with other successful recycling programs. Compare your recycling services with the successful programs in other municipalities and cities around you. Once your local government understands the community’s shortcomings compared to those around it, they can make changes for the better. Consider this the “doing your homework” stage of improving recycling accessibility. We may not always like doing homework, but in this case, it gives us a slate to work off of and helps us identify where we can improve.
Adding Recycling Bins to Public Areas
Now that you’ve identified where your community can improve, one of the best places to start is by increasing the number of recycling bins in public spaces. If your community lacks recycling opportunities, members are less likely to participate. In terms of making recycling more accessible, increasing these opportunities is the most effective way to accomplish this.
Start by examining the public spaces that receive the most traffic—are there a suitable number of recycling and garbage receptacles in these areas? You want to ensure that you have a comparable number of recycling bins to garbage cans; otherwise, your patrons may continue to dispose of recyclables in trash receptacles. Sometimes, city planners overlook outdoor recycling receptacles. Make sure parks, sidewalks, and other high-traffic outdoor areas have both trash and recycling cans to cut down on litter and make the disposal of each more accessible.
Promote Recycling Programs
Next, examine your community’s current recycling program. Take your conclusions from your initial comparison with other communities and explore the weaker areas of your program. For example, does your community participate in a weekly recycling collection program? If not, consider reaching out to a hauling company to expand your trash and recycling collections. Weekly collections make recycling easier and more accessible for households in your community. Once you set up a collection program, you also need to educate the community about said collection practices. Be clear about which materials they can and can’t recycle through this collection. For example, some haulers don’t accept certain plastics, such as single-use plastic bags. Make sure your community knows and follows these guidelines.
Construct Pickup and Drop-Off Centers
What can your community do about the recyclables that haulers don’t pick up? Try setting up a local drop-off or pickup center for these more niche recycling materials. If your city already supports a recycling drop-off, consider adding another or several. Many other cities and municipalities have seen a huge growth in recycling numbers by the pound after adding even one more drop-off center. The key to a successful and accessible drop-off center is to place it in a high-traffic location. For example, school offices are a popular location for recycling drives and drop-offs, as many students, parents, and teachers can take advantage of it. The local fire station or the courthouse are also prime accessible locations for the rest of the community. Encourage your local grocery stores that use plastic bags to include a collection receptacle where customers can conveniently and responsibly dispose of them during their next trip.
Spread the Word
No matter what changes you integrate to encourage recycling, your community won’t take advantage of them if they don’t know these changes exist. Spread the word of your local government’s actions toward making recycling more accessible for all. Post an article on your city’s website, blog, or even in the newspaper. Bring up the changes at your next town hall or another community meeting. Teachers can even educate students on ways to recycle more responsibly, which they can bring home to their parents. Soon, your community will take notice, and your new recycling drop-off centers and collections will fill with recyclables instead of them piling up in landfills.
Find Funding for Recycling Efforts
Whether you want to invest in a new trash and recycling hauler or need funding to set up a new drop-off location, your program will need extra funding at some point. The best place to start is by researching available funding through your state’s department of environmental protection and conservation agencies. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also funds both state and local municipalities with recycling programs. Municipal recycling programs can take advantage of this funding through grants, which you will need to search and sign up for. Some grants have specific requirements and guidelines, so make sure your community fits the bill before signing up.
Where To Obtain Recycling Receptacles
Once you’ve obtained the necessary funding, it’s time to start enacting your recycling program’s action plan. If you discovered your community lacked the proper number of recycling receptacles during your homework phase, this is a great place to start. But where can you invest in top-quality commercial recycling bins? Look no further than Trash Cans Depot. We supply many different recycling containers in nearly any style or function. Whether you need indoor bins, outdoor bins, multi-container bins, or more, Trash Cans Depot has your community’s needs covered. We have marked bins so that there will be no more confusion over where to dispose of trash versus recycling.
Trying to encourage recycling efforts in your community is a noble cause. To promote this positive change in your community, start with these six ways cities can make recycling more accessible. When you make recycling more accessible, it becomes easier for the individual community member to take part in it. This may not seem like much on its own, but when one individual becomes an entire community of participants, you’ll start to see a positive change.