The City of Columbia and RRT Design and Construction, a company that provides advanced technology for solid waste processing and recycling facilities, held a public information meeting to update residents about the recycling and waste diversion program evaluation. According to Kate Vasquez, Director of Planning and Advisory for RRT Design and Construction, the evaluation was done to ensure recyclable materials are going back into the economy.
The study showed most of Columbia’s contamination comes from drop-off centers and commercial areas. RRT employees sorted all recyclable materials by hand and found that 82% of bottles, cans, and jugs were correctly recycled. However, cardboard was the number one loss of recyclables which is the highest in value.
Vasquez said the program is losing quality tons due to equipment at the Material Recovery Facilities. The company program is looking into recommendations for the city to ensure Columbia receives market value for its recyclables.