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City: Recycling program a success

POSTED: November 28, 2011 12:37 p.m.

Springfield is hoping to turn its recycling pilot program into a full-blown initiative.

City council members discussed turning the curbside recycling pilot program, which was scheduled to last two months and ended last week, into a city-wide endeavor. Council members and City Manager Brett Bennett said the recycling program has gone over well with residents who took part.

“I’ve had nothing but positive comments,” Bennett said.

Added Mayor pro tem Jeff Ambrose: “I’ve had nothing but good comments.”

The success of the pilot program has won over even the most skeptical of city council members.

“I’ve been pleasantly surprised,” said council member Kenny Usher. “I was a doubter of the whole program.”

Participation in the program was higher than normal, Bennett said of what Waste Management told him, with approximately 70 percent to 73 percent taking part in the program. The more participation in the program, the less waste is sent to the landfill, Bennett pointed out.

“It’s going to be a boon for Waste Management,” Usher said.

Council members will hold public hearings Dec. 6 at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. to discuss curbside recycling, city charter changes and also will hold a budget workshop following the 6 p.m. hearing.

The pilot program, conducted by city sanitation contractor Waste Management, was directed at approximately 100 homes around Ash Street, Laberta Circle and a portion of Early Street. The program was single stream recycling, meaning residents didn’t have to separate their recyclables before putting them into the recycling containers.

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