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Gahanna and SWACO Team Up with The Recycling Partnership to Improve Curbside Recycling for Residents

Together They will Implement The Recycling Partnership’s Nationally Acclaimed “Feet on the Street” Cart-Tagging Recycling Education Campaign

Gahanna, OH (April 27, 2021) – The City of Gahanna has partnered with SWACO to bring The Recycling Partnership’s nationally acclaimed Feet on the Street –recycling education to Gahanna, an effort to improve the quality of recycling in single-stream curbside recycling carts by providing residents personalized and real-time recycling education and feedback.

The Feet on the Street program is intended to increase the amount of quality recyclables – items that are accepted for recycling that are empty and dry, so they can circulate back into the recycling system to become new products or packaging. The Recycling Partnership and SWACO are investing $40,000 to help the city of Gahanna reduce recycling contamination and help residents recycle right.

Gahanna Mayor Laurie Jadwin stated identifying best practices for sustainability is an ongoing effort in Gahanna. “Our residents have consistently embraced sustainability initiatives, as evidenced by our achievement in reaching ‘Silver’ status as part of MORPC’s Sustainable2050 program and our designation as a ‘Tree City USA’. We are excited to pursue this new partnership with SWACO as we strive to raise recycling awareness and generate an overall positive impact on our community’s sustainability practices.”

In Gahanna, as in curbside recycling programs across Franklin County, residents can recycle plastic bottles, tubs and jugs, glass bottles and jars, metal cans, carton containers and virtually all household papers and cardboard through their curbside recycling program. These materials should be put loosely into the recycling cart and not bagged.

“Franklin County’s rate of recycling stands at 50%, meaning residents and businesses recycle half of all the waste they create, which is better than the national average,” said Ty Marsh, SWACO’s Executive Director. “We appreciate the leadership of the city of Gahanna to prioritize sustainability not just during Earth Month but every day. Together, we can learn to recycle right and ensure our efforts make a difference for our Region’s environment, economy and community.”

The Partnership’s Feet on the Street program is a comprehensive recycling education and outreach strategy that involves a team of community-based observers visiting each resident’s cart and providing tailored feedback on how to ensure only the accepted recyclables are placed into the cart.

In addition to the Feet on the Street activities, Gahanna residents will also receive educational materials as part of SWACO’s Recycle Right, Make a Difference program.

Together these efforts will build confidence among recyclers about how to recycle right, will reduce recycling stream contamination and will ultimately lead to more recycling taking place.

These activities will take place between April and June 2021.

In 2018, The Recycling Partnership awarded a $303,000 grant to SWACO to purchase 38,000 large, lidded, rolling recycling carts, which were estimated to capture 1.1 million pounds of recyclables annually. As part of that grant, The City of Gahanna delivered new recycling carts to 10,000 households in 2019. The new Feet on the Street program was made possible in part by financial support from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“We are excited to continue to build on our longstanding relationship with SWACO and Gahanna to help the community recycle more, better,” said Jill Martin, Director of Community Programs at The Recycling Partnership. “By providing households with personalized and real-time feedback on what is and isn’t recyclable, we are helping the City of Gahanna capture more quality recyclables that are then transformed into new materials or packaging, creating a healthier, more circular economy, a less wasteful planet, and a stronger, healthier community.”

Now, more than ever, Americans view recycling as a valuable and essential public service. And during a time of social distancing where many non-essential employees are working remotely and commercial recycling is near an all-time low, producers see residential recycling programs as a critical supplier of critically needed materials for products and packaging.

The Partnership has successfully implemented this program in 70 communities across the country, including the City of Columbus, with some communities seeing a 57% decrease of nonrecyclables in recycling and a 27% increase in the overall capture of quality recyclables.

Learn more about what is and is not accepted as part of the City of Gahanna’s Recycle Right program at https://www.gahanna.gov/refuse-recycling-and-yard-waste/.