Cincinnati to kick off new Enhanced Recycling Program late spring 2010

The City of Cincinnati will begin distributing new larger recycling carts this May as part of the city's enhanced recycling program.  Distribution will occur in four phases and will eventually include carts at 104,000 households in Cincinnati.

The new recycling carts are touted as having several benefits over the existing 18 gallon bins used now.  The new carts will be offered in 18, 35, 64 and 96 gallon sizes, but will primarily be the larger ones according to Office of Environmental Quality Director Larry Falkin.

"All households in one - to four- family structures and additional larger structures that receive City trash collection will receive the new carts," said Falkin.

The new recycling carts will offer more than just additional capacity and wheels though, as the enhanced recycling program will also start a city-wide RecycleBank program that rewards users for increased recycling participation.

The RecycleBank program works by awarding points to users for the amount they recycle by tracking their participation through a small computer chip in the new recycling carts.  According to Falkin, these points can then be redeemed for free products and discounts at local and national retailers.

The new RecycleBank program will be one of the largest around and only the second such program in Ohio - Montgomery is in the second year of its RecycleBank program.  Falkin also stated that in other communities benefits in supermarkets and drugstores tend to be the most popular rewards.

The improvements being made in Cincinnati's enhanced recycling program will place Cincinnati among the national leaders in participation and diversion rates according to Falkin.  Most large cities in America currently offer curbside recycling programs comparable to Cincinnati's current program, but only a third of those use volume-based trash fees to encourage waste minimization.

Residents will soon be receiving informative mailings from the City that will detail the upcoming enhanced recycling program with important dates and changes.  Future improvements, to the enhanced recycling program, might include a return to weekly service, expansion of the program to businesses and multi-family structures, and the inclusion of milk cartons and juice boxes.

Writer: Randy A. Simes
Photography by Scott Beseler
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