Recyclables could be collected weekly from curbsides across Columbus by the middle of 2023, doubling the city’s current schedule. Mayor Andrew Ginther’s 2023 proposed general fund budget earmarks $6 million for increasing curbside recycling collection to once a week. The general fund proposal totals $1.14 billion, with other millions allocated to afterschool programs and housing projects.
Tim Swauger, administrator for the division of refuse, said the city believes the more frequent schedule will lead to a 25% to 40% increase in recyclables diverted from area landfills. Right now, Swauger said, if residents fill their blue carts to the brim every two weeks — or forget to lug them outside on pick-up day — they are generally not bringing the overflow to drop-off locations. “When the carts get full, people start to throw their recycling away,” Swauger said.
Rob Taylor, grants and community development director at national nonprofit the Recycling Partnership, said that analysis is likely on par. Taylor said his nonprofit recommends cities that offer biweekly pick-up also provide residents with 95-gallon carts. Columbus primarily uses 64-gallon carts, according to Swauger. “We have a sense that this means that the city’s recycling program underperforms for that reason,” Taylor said.