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Case Study: Columbia, SC

  • Project Type: Cart Rollout
  • Total HH Served: 40,000
  • Projected New Tons/Year: 6,563
  • Year: 2015

In just 13 days, the City of Columbia, SC delivered 96-gal. recycling carts to each of its 40,000 households to replace their existing 18-gal. bins. Within the first three months of cart collection, Columbia saw an increase of over 100 tons per month. Three years later, Columbia is seeing a whopping 126.82% increase in their recovered recyclables.

An inaugural cart community, Columbia received the following from The Recycling Partnership:

  • $250,000 grant for carts 
  • $50,000 grant for education and outreach to support and maintain program transition 
  • Access to education and outreach resources valued at $100,000 
  • Dedicated technical assistance to promote recycling best practice implementation valued at $40,000+ 

Without funding from The Recycling Partnership and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, “we would still be fighting for those dollars to start this program,” Columbia, SC Recycling Coordinator Samantha Yager told Waste360 in 2015. “A lot of people don’t realize the economic value and the environmental value of increasing recycling. It goes to show that you have this outside organization that believes in your community and believes in recycling and what it can benefit your community.”