Improved recycling rates is key goal of Sanitation Services
Increasing the amount of recyclables collected and reducing the number of contaminated items going to recycling facilities are key goals of the City’s Sanitation Services Department.
“Recycling is the first step to sustainability,” said Sanitation Services Coordinator Murray Myers. “It gets people to think differently about the planet’s resources, which leads to conserving other resources, like water, energy and food.”
Although recyclables in Dallas have increased, the City is still behind the Zero Waste Plan set up in 2013. The Plan’s goals include three checkpoints for diverting materials and waste from landfills: 40 percent diversion by 2020, 60 percent by 2030 and Zero Waste by 2040. At 21 percent, the City’s diversion rate is one of lowest among major Texas cities.
“Dallas does really well with recycling paper, bottles and cans, but a few updates to the bulk and brush collection would significantly improve our diversion rate,” said Myers. Currently, 20 percent of Dallas households don’t have a recycling cart. Although apartments are not required to have recycling options on-site, the City encourages apartment residents to start a recycling program and set up small recycling bins.
Sanitation staff will also meet with businesses interested in recycling and determine if a commercial trash and recycle service is best for their needs by providing options based on the property size, number of people and type of waste. For each City rollaway trash cart businesses use, they can receive up to 10 recycling carts. For each City garbage roll cart businesses use, they can receive one recycling roll cart at no charge. Businesses interested in this service can contact Sanitation at [email protected] or on their website.
Sanitation Services also provides educational updates and reminders on Facebook, Twitter, DallasRecycles.com. The Sanitation Services app can also help answer most questions that residents have about recycling in Dallas, including what materials are recyclable and bulk and brush pickup days.
Partnering with publications like the Advocate, Dallas Morning News, Al Dia and the Dallas Examiner to share important information, these mediums have reached several residents and encouraged them to start recycling. For children, the Environmental Education Initiative provides education on recycling to elementary and middle school students to promote green living among Dallas’ next generation.