Nearly 90% of 4,000 Northwest Arkansas residents polled in a recent survey conducted by Springdale nonprofit Northwest Arkansas Council said recycling is important to the region’s future. “It feels good to be working on something that people want us to work on,” said Dan Holtmeyer, the council’s recycling program manager.
NWA Recycles is the program’s name, and its goal is to advance recycling in Northwest Arkansas by promoting collaboration, transparency and public awareness to increase participation. Initially for two years, the program is a joint effort by the council and the Benton County and Boston Mountain solid waste districts that launched last year with financial support from Walmart. Since May 2021, Holtmeyer has led the council’s efforts in working with several cities and regional partners.
In the long-term, Holtmeyer said Northwest Arkansas communities benefit from recycling by preserving landfill space and conserving natural resources. Finding messaging consistency and ways to improve existing systems — and finding ways for them to work together — is essential. Doing so would be another advantage that keeps the growing region a desirable place to live. “It’s a very pragmatic concern,” Holtmeyer explained. “We only have one landfill [in Northwest Arkansas], which will probably be the only one we have, based on various factors. It’s got plenty of room for now. But it’s a finite landfill, and we need to conserve space.”