We’re excited to welcome The City Of Lansing, Capital Area Recycling and Trash (CART) as our newest Recycle, MI Partners! Lansing has a lot of exciting programs going on from curbside recycling, waste collection, and yard debris collection. Read below for some city highlights from our Partner Program Interview with Lori Welch from Capital Area Recycling & Trash.
To find out more about their programs you can visit: https://www.Lansingmi.gov
New Recycle, MI Partner- Capital Area Recycling & Trash
Curbside recycling began for the City of Lansing in 1990. While state grant funds got the program off the ground, city voters approved a fee on property taxes that supports the programs to this day.
City of Lansing municipal crews have been collecting trash at the curb for over 100 years. The City has, in fact, one of the oldest ‘pay as you throw programs’ in the country, offering recycling services combined with volume-based trash services that provide an incentive to reduce waste by recycling. Today, municipal crews collect all materials at the curb; trash, recycling and yard debris.
In 2013, Lansing transitioned its recycling program from bins and material separation at the curb to single-stream collection with rolling recycling carts. The City distributed 38,000 carts to primarily single-family residences and now boasts a 75% participation rate. Many of the city’s commercial businesses, multi-family residents, and schools also have access to the curbside program.
The City aims to make its recycling programs as convenient as possible to maximize participation and promotion is a key aspect of the program. Each year single family households receive several postcards, at least two detailed newsletters, and supplemental electronic information. These types of regular, predictable communications, combined with a strong website, and catchy Facebook campaigns with contests, videos, giveaways that promote the variety of programs the City operates keeps residents engaged.
Lansing recycling staff also works with colleagues from across the Tri-county region on special programs and events such as, RecycleRama, a regional collection event that focuses on material not collected at the curb. Several tri-county agencies share information, ideas and resources to enhance local programs. The City of Lansing has grown its public space recycling program at City Hall, the nature center, city market, community center, and several local parks. Additional containers are being added to support recycling efforts at a growing number of parks and special events.
The City also provides recycling containers for special events upon request. Single stream recycling in covered, wheeled carts has made the collection of recyclables at special events easier. With some coordination through the parks department recycling services can be provided at little to no cost.
The City is supportive of organics recycling efforts and provides information and education on best backyard composting practices. The City does not yet collect food waste at the curb, but with support from a Department of Environmental Quality grant program, the City is focusing on growing its scraps to soil program to reduce food waste generated by local businesses. Staff is targeting large food waste generators to bring needed volume to the program.
The City hopes to grow organics recycling opportunities beyond just commercial operations and is working to enhance recycling services for multi-family complexes. But continued program growth and enhancement will require funding and cooperation. Currently the City’s recyclables are being transported for processing to a Southfield recycling plant. With local cooperation, recyclables generated in the Tri-county area could be separated and processed for recycling in the immediate area, bringing economic opportunity to mid-Michigan. The City and its regional allies are currently exploring opportunities for regional collaboration to enhance recycling services for all mid-Michigan residents and businesses.
The City of Lansing is a regional leader, Recycle, MI Partner and has committed itself to recycling and the opportunities it provides for its residents and businesses. As awareness of the value and opportunity recycling grows, the City’s foundation programs are a great start to transforming this area waste into resources and opportunities.
Thanks Lansing for providing recycling opportunities where residents live, work, and play.