AKRON, Ohio — The city of Akron is rolling out a new campaign to get people to pay attention to what they’re putting into their recycling bins.
Monday marked the launch of the three-month "Recycle Right" campaign. The city of Akron partnered with Keep Akron Beautiful and ReWorks to begin the grant-funded campaign to help reduce contamination in Akron’s recycling stream.
Too often, city officials come across bins that are used as a second trash can.
"This is something we run into frequently," said Daniel Dempsey, Akron's solid waste and recycling manager. "It’s people misusing their recycling carts."
Recyclable items include paper, cartons, clean cans, and plastic bottles without the lids. But just within the past three weeks, Demspey said the city has removed about 100 bins in Akron after discovering that residents are not using them properly.
"The biggest thing we saw were their bagged recyclables," said Jacqui Ricchiuti, CEO of Keep Akron Beautiful. "Clean plastic bottles and cans in a bag. It's goes into a landfill."
If a contaminated bin is discovered, the city will tag it with an information card. But if nothing changes by the third time, the bin will be removed from the home.
"One customer came out and talked to us and said 'Oh, my gosh. I want to do this right,' so we tagged her bin and she ripped it off and we helped her get all the stuff out that shouldn’t have been in there and turned it back around."
The mission of the program is to make a positive change to the recycling process.
"That’s the whole point of all of this," said Ricchiuti. "To change it and do it right so we an have clean recyclables in Akron."