Mayor promotes mandatory recycling


The city will study making recycling mandatory and should act on it before the current city council leaves office next year, mayor Sly James said Monday.

The mayor directed the council Neighborhoods, Housing & Healthy Communities committee to study the matter.

He acted at a meeting after city officials reported the recycling situation to him.

Although 80 percent of citizens participate in recycling, only 20 percent of waste is being diverted from landfills, they said.

The goal by 2020 is to have 80 percent of waste diverted, said Michael Shaw, solid waste manager.

For every ton of trash diverted, he said, the city saves $35 from trash collection and gains $65 from recycling sales.

One obvious step in the right direction is mandatory recycling, Shaw said.

James asked, “Are we ready for that,” and Shaw replied, “From a policy standpoint, I don’t know.”

Shaw said it is clearly the next step but policy discussions are needed on if and how to do it.

James cut to chase: “The more recycling we have as a city, the better – we should be working on being better.”

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