Five Central Ohio communities will be handing out 38,000 new recycling bins to their residents, free of cost, over the next month.
The new recycling bins are larger, wheeled carts with lids that will be distributed across Gahanna, Westerville, Reynoldsburg, Bexley and Blendon Township.
Bexley Mayor Ben Kessler credits a Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) program letting Franklin County municipalities buy the bins at a reduced cost. Bexley already offered these bins through an opt-in program, but that required residents to go to city hall and pay up to $30 to get a bin, slowing down integration.
Now, the communities will simply drop off the bins for free at people's houses.
“It’s been incredibly important for us to get a tool in our residents hands to provide a higher volume of recycling every week, week over week, to keep a lid on it so it’s not riling around our streets, and to really help, along with education, make recycling ultimately very successful in our communities,” Kessler said.
SWACO executive director Ty Marsh says as Central Ohio grows by possibly 1 million more people over the next 30 years, the area will need to figure out how to manage an additional 1 million tons of waste.
“SWACO’s new program helps communities switch to these carts,” Marsh said. “It means we’re better positioned to address our changing waste stream now and into the future.”
Kessler says the next steps for communities are to start accepting more recyclable materials, and encourage residents to consume less.