Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Minneapolis Recycling - Sort it ...sometimes

Recycling is beyond important. The amount of glass, plastic, metal and paper that would otherwise end up in landfills is evident every time you drive through one of Minneapolis' many alleys on that area's recycling collection date. So, it would stand to reason that the city would make recycling as easy as possible for its residents. After all, plenty of other midwestern cities have adopted commingled recycling (where the city does the sorting for you) why not Minneapolis? Well, here's the explanation from the city:

Sorted recycling generates the biggest revenue. Revenue from recycling provides money for:

-Large item pickup
-The voucher program
-Clean City programs
-Ongoing operating costs

If the City of Minneapolis used single-stream recycling (all recycling in one bin, as some areas do), the higher cost of processing these materials would result in lower revenue, and possible cuts in other waste services.

OK, that makes sense. I really do appreciate being able to leave large items out and have the city take them, at no extra cost. Which leaves me with just one question ...if all recycling needs to be sorted by individuals, then where does the trash from the commingled recycling in city parks go? In those blue cans, conveniently placed all over heavily used public areas, we discard all of our recyclable waste all in one intermixed container. Is that recycling sorted by hand? ...or does the city have a machine for that?

This is not a complaint, just an honest question. If anybody knows the answer, please share! Ultimately, I'd like to see recycling made as easy as possible for everyone.

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