Inside Lane County's plan to boost recycling rate

Lane County Waste Reduction Specialist Sarah Grimm said a problem spot is places where many people live like apartment complexes and condos. People either aren't recycling or aren't doing it properly.

Posted: Jan 10, 2020 7:58 AM
Updated: Jan 10, 2020 10:38 AM

EUGENE, Ore. -- More than half of all trash in Lane County gets recycled in one way or another, but the county believes it can do better.

The goal is to reach a recovery rate of 63%. The recovery rate is how the county measures what percentage of materials are successfully recycled. Currently, it sits at around 52%.

Lane County Waste Reduction Specialist Sarah Grimm said a problem spot is places where many people live like apartment complexes and condos. People either aren't recycling or aren't doing it properly.

“Apartments and condos are having trouble making sure that everybody is recycling right, and it's sometimes hard to keep up with the influx and outflow of tenants,” Grimm said.

Grimm said the county is rolling out a new multifamily recycling program that includes using a survey to ask landlords and property managers how the county can help boost recycling numbers. Then they'll take that feedback and turn it into a solution.

“We're also very excited to do pilot projects coming up in which we make advanced resources available and then we chart to see how well it's working,” Grimm said.

The “advanced resources” will be determined using feedback from landlords and property managers.

Grimm said the county currently has free resources like flyers and stickers for property managers to provide to tenants to educate them about what is and isn’t recyclable. That information is also found on the county website.

Multifamily property owners interested in filling out the survey and participating in the pilot project can find more information here.

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