BALTIMORE — On Thursday, Baltimore City launched its delivery of nearly 200,000 curbside recycling carts. The kickoff event was held on Abbotston Street in the Coldstram-Homestead-Montebello community.
“Making Baltimore more sustainable through diverting waste from our landfills and incineration is key as we lay the groundwork for future generations,” said Mayor Brandon Scott. “By providing our residents with the proper resources and education thanks to this partnership, I know that more Baltimore households will do their part to reduce waste and recycle.”
The $10 million-plus project is estimated to increase recycling output per household by 80% and generate as much as 40 million pounds of new recyclables each year.
According to city leaders, the initiative to bring equitable curbside recycling access to city residents was made possible through the efforts of The Recycling Partnership, with the American Beverage Association’s Every Bottle Back initiative, Closed Loop Partners, Dow, the Baltimore Civic Fund, and Rehrig Pacific.
As part of the initiative there is a $3.6 million investment from The Recycling Partnership, consisting of $1.65 million from the beverage industry, a plastic resin donation for recycling carts from Dow, and large, lidded rollout recycling carts manufactured by Rehrig Pacific. There's also an additional $3 million investment from Closed Loop Partners’ Infrastructure Fund, which finances similar projects that encourage recycling.”
“This unique public-private partnership has culminated in The Recycling Partnership’s largest recycling grant to date, providing an innovative solution that will meaningfully increase recycling rates and serve as a model for other cities,” said Cody Marshall, Chief of Community Strategy at The Recycling Partnership. “Cart-based recycling collection is a foundational element to any community’s recycling and sustainability program. Providing curbside recycling carts to all households makes waste diversion convenient for all while streamlining program operations – the definition of resiliency and sustainability.”
The City’s transition to automated recycling collection, a process that does not require collection staff to leave the truck’s cab, with larger, lidded recycling carts enables safer and more efficient collection, reduces the amount of manual labor needed, helps to prevent injury to collection staff, and ensures continuity of service during labor shortages, while minimizing waste in waterways and providing residents with increased storage capacity for their recyclables at the same time.
Baltimore’s Department of Public Works has called it a game-changer for the City’s waste diversion plan and the foundation for a brighter, cleaner Baltimore for generations to come. The delivery of free recycling carts is one of the key recommendations in the city’s Less Waste, Better Baltimore Plan which identified options for improving solid waste diversion, recycling, and disposal.
“The Department of Public Works is excited to support this new initiative to increase recycling and waste diversion in Baltimore City,” said Baltimore City Department of Public Works Director Jason W. Mitchell. “We are grateful for the Mayor’s vision of a cleaner and more equitable Baltimore and the collaboration between Baltimore Civic Fund, The Recycling Partnership and Closed Loop Partners to make this a reality for the residents of our city. Essential to this critical partnership is the education component, which provides residents with helpful tips on proper recycling.”
When asked if DPW crews can handled the expected increase in recycling services the director told WMAR-2 News that the department is prepared. Mitchell also said the department is working to fill 70 vacant position.
Baltimore expects the delivery of recycling carts to be completed in early 2022.