City officials in Tacoma, Washington, have announced several proposals to change its recycling program. The city currently offers curbside recycling service to residents, multifamily tenants
Lewis Griffith, division manager at Solid Waste Management, adds that the city has been “actively studying, analyzing and evaluating the impacts China’s actions would have on [the city’s] local recycling programs [and that] the impacts are resulting in a loss of recycling revenue and an increase in cost to the utility to get recyclables to market.”
According to a city news release, city officials offered four proposals for changes to the city’s recycling program:
- Limited recycling, which features
an 3percent (about $1.33 per month average) residential rate increase for additional landfill costs, eliminate curbside recycling and two satellite drop-off recycling centers.
- Partial recycling, which features a $2.40 recycling surcharge per month, eliminates curbside glass recycling and provides satellite glass boxes or
- Maintain full curbside recycling, which features a $3 recycling surcharge per month and removes problem items from commingled recycling list.
- Maintain full recycling plus, which features a $4 recycling surcharge per month, removes problem items from commingled recycling list, provides satellite glass boxes or recycle stations and increases recycling education.
The city reports that both the limited recycling and the partial recycling options may require households to increase their garbage container size, depending on the amount of waste produced. This would also result in higher monthly garbage bills.
In December 2018, the city began community outreach efforts and engagement plans to gather feedback for the city council on proposed changes. According to a city news release, city officials are continuing to host focus groups and community engagement events to gauge insight on which proposal may fit best. The city is also offering recycling feedback surveys until March 15, with plans of rolling out a new program in June.