Reduce, Re-use, Recycle
The Recycling Rate is the percentage of trash that is recycled. The more waste we keep from being hauled off to an incinerator, the more we can reduce disposal costs, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy use. The City aims to head toward zero waste, which means that nothing is sent to an incinerator and all waste is either eliminated (through our choices, i.e. not buying bottled water); reused, or recycled or composted.
Measures the percentage of waste that is diverted from direct disposal for recycling, composting, reuse, and other programs
What Does this Graph Show Us?
This graph is showing us Springfield’s recycling rate from 2014-2016. The recycling rate is the percentage of all waste collected that is recycled. All other trash is sent to an incinerator. This data is indicating that Springfield’s recycling rate is on the decline, which means, we are recycling less. The City has indicated a goal to work toward zero waste. We will need to work together to accomplish this.
Did you know that placing non-recyclable items in the recycling bin can actually contaminate a truck load of recyclables? It is important that you only place recyclable materials in the blue bin- such as cardboard boxes, paper bags, newspapers, catalogs, glass jars, plastic bottles. Do NOT place plastic bags in the recycling bin. These are NOT recyclable.
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In 2014, Springfield’s recycling rate of 17% was half of the US average at 34.6%.
The best way to minimize your impact is to not create the waste at all. Consider skipping the bottled water and instead bring your own bottle to refill- this will save you money while having a positive impact on the environment.
Strategies to Get to Zero Waste
Through the Climate Action and Resilience Plan (CARP) development process, the following strategies were developed to improve recycling rates, reduce total waste generated, and put Springfield on a path to zero waste.
- Explore alternative waste solutions to the current trash fee model, to reduce the amount of waste being sent for incineration.
- Use regulatory means as appropriate to promote, require, or incentivize alternatives to traditional building demolition, such as rehabilitation, adaptive reuse, relocation and deconstruction.
- Implement educational campaigns to:
A) ‘Buy Smart’ (plan before purchasing, buy local, give gifts of experience, purchase durable goods)
C) Borrow, share, and rent items
D) Fix and maintain items
- Adopt a plastic bag ban and polystyrene ban.
- Implement educational campaigns to reduce the volume of food waste generated in homes by promoting proper food storage, meal planning, and composting.
- Implement educational campaigns to avoid electronic waste, encourage the recycling of electronic products, and the purchasing of environmentally-friendly electronics.
Be a Part of the Solution
Springfield’s Department of Public Works provides guidance on what you can and cannot recycle. Be sure to check their site to ensure you are putting the correct materials in the blue bin.More Information
The City of Springfield has announced the creation of the Facilities and Sustainability Engineer position for the City of Springfield.Full Article
- The Boston Globe