RECYCLING. The first thought that comes to mind should
be the Portlandia episode where the Sanitation Twins,
Marcus and Madeleine Harris, attempt to sell us their particular brand of recycling. If you have no idea what I
am talking about, Google it.
In this article I’m going to put on my sanitation hat and sell you on the Columbus brand of recycling. Building on the success of its residential recycling program, Columbus has launched a new pilot program to increase recycling along High Street between Broad Street and Lane Avenue. Crews have installed 130 recycling containers next to existing litter containers in an effort to increase accessibility for pedestrians to recycle in downtown Columbus, the Short North, and University District. The recycling containers are “all-in-one,” which means you don’t have to worry about sorting out the glass, paper, and plastic (sorry Portlandia). Perhaps we can lobby to put a bird on them. The “Recycling on High” program is made possible through a partnership between the City of Columbus and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
“I am proud of the continuing efforts we are making to improve our recycling habits,” Mayor Michael B. Coleman said. “Increased recycling opportunities allow Columbus to continue in its growth as a leader in sustainability.”
The City of Columbus, in conjunction with the Short North Alliance, is also piloting a bar and restaurant recycling program to compliment the High Street recycling
containers. That is because one bar generates an estimated five tons of glass per month, and 90 percent of Ohio’s glass currently ends up at a landfill. At maximum capacity, the program is expected to divert 1,500 tons of materials from the landfill during the 10-month period from August 2013 to June 2014. With the success of the pilot program,
the city hopes to demonstrate recycling as a cost effective option for businesses.
Rumpke Recycling, currently responsible for collection of household recyclables, will collect both the restaurant and High Street recyclables for transport to their processing site for sorting. The glass will be sorted from other materials at the Rumpke facility and then transported to the Glass Processing Plant located in Dayton, Ohio. Once there, 60 percent of the glass will be used for insulation and sent to companies such as Johns-Manville in Defiance, Ohio and Owens Corning in Newark, Ohio. The other 40 percent will be used for glass bottles and sent to Owens-Illinois in Zanesville, Ohio and other various locations. The initiative will include up to 40 Columbus bars and restaurants that are located on High Street from Broad Street, to Lane Avenue.
The City of Columbus will provide bar and restaurant owners with recycling containers, employee training, and collection three times per week during the pilot year. Interested parties can contact 614.645.3111 for more information. Participating businesses are also invited to join Mayor Coleman’s GreenSpot Program to be recognized within the city as an environmentally conscious organization. For additional information, please visit: ColumbusGreenSpot.org