One year later: Spokane big blue bins increase recycle rate

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by KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on January 14, 2014 at 7:40 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 14 at 3:41 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. – Since Spokane rolled out its big blue recycle bins in September 2012, our region’s recycling rate has increased.

“We would get calls regularly of, ‘Why can’t we recycle like they do in San Francisco or Denver or Minneapolis or Seattle,” City of Spokane Recycling Coordinator Suzanne Tresko said. “Now, not only are we recycling like that, we’re recycling better.”

Instead of residents sorting their own recyclables, they can send them all to the curb, co-mingled, in a single-stream plastic cart with wheels. Now, someone else does the sorting: staff at Waste Management’s Smart Center on Geiger Blvd.

“This facility has totally transformed the way the entire region is looking at recyling,” Waste Management Senior Communications Manager Robin Freedman said.

Within just the city of Spokane, recycling is up about 70 percent since the introduction of the big blue bins. Over the past year, the city of Spokane reports 6,000 residents have requested smaller garbage carts, saving them $12 monthly.

In Spokane County, the tonage of residential recycling has gone up 50 percent from 2012 to 2013.

“I think every constituent, business or residential, should be pretty proud and impressed with themselves that little old Spokane is really cutting-edge with this technology.”

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