As more and more shopping moves online, cardboard is making up an increasing percentage of our trash. Call it “the Amazon effect,” according to Pat Smoker, interim director of the Richmond Sanitary District. All of that cardboard has the potential for shortening the lifespan of the New Paris Pike Landfill, so city officials would rather see it recycled instead. Now, thanks to a state grant, the city is making plans for a pilot program that’ll help do just that starting around mid-year 2021.
The Richmond Sanitary District has been awarded a $220,000 matching grant from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to start a curbside recycling program for cardboard. The sanitary district also is pitching in $220,000 to get everything up and running. That money will purchase a new recycling truck and 2,000 containers. Officials plan to solicit bids for the vehicle in January with the hopes of having it by the summer.
IDEM’s Recycling Market Development Program awarded $1 million in grants to eight organizations across the state for various projects. Businesses, local governments, schools and nonprofits in Indiana are eligible to apply for funding of between $10,000 and $500,000 with a 50% required match. “This grant funding provides our community a great opportunity to expand our recycling efforts,” State Rep. Brad Barrett (R-Richmond) said in a statement. “We can reduce hundreds of tons of waste each year, leading to a healthier environment for Richmond.”