LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – THV11 and the Regional Recycling District in Pulaski County are launching a year-long program designed to inform and encourage local Pulaski County residential customers how to do recycling right.
Currently, the average residential cart contamination or cart corruption rate throughout Pulaski County is 36 percent. The goal of the program is to reduce the rate to 28 percent. The District will measure the progress of the campaign in January 2019.
“To do recycling right, the recycling cart residential customers place at the curb must not contain any material that can’t be processed by Recycle America’s materials recycling facility,” said Craig Douglass, executive director of the Regional Recycling & Waste Reduction District. “If the machines at the facility that processes the cart’s contents can’t successfully separate and sort what’s in the cart, the contents could end up in the landfill, and that’s what we want to avoid.” Recycle America, located at the Little Rock Port Industrial Park, is owned by Waste Management. Waste Management holds the District’s contract for solid waste and recycling pick-up, processing and disposal.
Research from Waste Management shows that nationwide the top waste categories that should not go in the cart are plastic bags; hoses, cords and wire; food scraps; clothes; and yard waste. Other contaminants that corrupt the cart are containers that still have food, liquid and food waste inside. All of these materials should be placed in the garbage. If the containers are recyclable, they should be emptied and placed in the recycle cart.
The biggest culprits to successful recycling are called “tanglers,” said Carol Bevis, the chief recycling officer of the District. “If such things as plastic bags, hoses or cords, and clothes are put in the recycling cart, or if any recyclable material is bagged and then put in the cart, then this material can get tangled up in the recycling machines and shut the machines down.”
During the 12-month campaign period, the District will be targeting residential customers who already recycle. The District enlisted an exclusive media partner for the campaign with THV11. We will be promoting “recycle right” tips and information on its news, weather and features programming. In addition, we will communicate with its various audiences through Facebook and our website, THV11.com. The strategy of the campaign is to make sure that residential customers who recycle are doing recycling right. “Do Recycling Right” is the theme of this campaign.
To aid the effort to inform residential customers of what should go in the carts, and what should be left out, Waste Management truck drivers will tag carts that contain unacceptable material. In Little Rock, North Little Rock, and Sherwood, carts will be emptied into the recycle truck. If non-recyclable material is seen by the drivers as the automatic arms are emptying the cart, the cart will be emptied but will be tagged.
In the unincorporated areas of Pulaski County, all recycling carts are manually emptied. If the driver sees that the cart contains unacceptable material prior to emptying the cart, the cart will not be emptied and tagged.
“If we can reduce corruption of the carts, then the end-product of recycled material will be cleaner and more marketable. The more recycled material that can be sold to manufacturers worldwide, the greater the incentive to continue environmentally sound recycling programs,” Douglass said. “But it all starts with residential consumers and individuals and families who do recycling, and do it right.”
To learn more, residential customers may call the Regional Recycling District in Pulaski County at 501-340-8787 or, click here- MyDoRight.com.
This campaign launches Monday, February 26, 2018.