Percent of waste diverted from landfills by recycling efforts
Maintenance & Growth | Desired Measure Result: Above Target
Items diverted include city-approved recyclables, bulk waste and yard waste. Proper recycling reduces the contamination rate at the Materials Resource Facility (MRF), increases the life of the landfill and reduces the city’s cost for waste reduction. This measure tracks the percentage of tons of materials collected from residential, small commercial businesses, drop-off stations and the illegal dumping collections that are diverted from landfills through the city’s recycling and yard waste mulching programs.
Data Source: The data for this measurement is comprised of tonnage reports from the Material Recovery Facility (MRF)
The diversion rate has hovered just below the 25% goal since 2006 and has been below 20% in the past two years. There are three main contributing factors to the lower rate:
1) The volume of residential garbage has increased.
2) The volume of residential bulk trash has increased.
3) The volume of yard waste has decreased.
The decrease in yard waste compounds our challenge because it cannot offset the increase in garbage volume. Additional challenges that affect the city’s ability to increase the diversion rate include population growth and the need for continued education of residents. Educational efforts include focusing on the importance and proper methods of recycling, reuse and composting. Key waste streams include yard waste and brush and using the drop-off stations for electronics recycling, household hazardous waste disposal and donations to Goodwill. Some efforts to improve the diversion rate include targeting areas that have higher recycling contamination or low recycling participation rates with increased cart audits, sharing recycle audit results with area residents and distributing residential educational materials and videos via Facebook and the Community Engagement Office. Other new programs, such as the pilot composting program, are intended to both provide education and reduce waste.