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The Recycle Cycle

I was having a little trouble finding a good-news story to relate on recycling in Buffalo. Then I remembered the picture that my brother stationed in Naples, Italy sent me last week with the constant piles of garbage, no recycling and no landfill left.
We as citizens are not doing a very good job in Buffalo. Supposedly our recycling rate, at least as measured last in 2004, is about 7% compared to around 25% in Chicago, Baltimore, and Milwaukee. I received a chart from Paul Wolf’s office showing that Buffalo produces approximately 153,739 tons of garbage. Recycling only 7%, we pay
approximately $5.5 million dollars to landfill the remaining garbage each year. In addition, our recycling pick-up has some issues. In the past 12 months the Mayor’s Call and Resolution Center recorded 2,435 complaints on recycling, most regarding pick-up issues.
The city’s pick-up contract with the private recycling company Allied Waste, previously BFI, ends June 30 and Councilman Joseph Golombek wants the city to re-evaluate the recycling situation. Golombek has put forward a resolution for the city to explore having city workers, instead of Allied Waste, pick up recyclable materials. The Buffalo
Sewer Authority is saving $1 million a year since using city sewer workers for jobs once contracted out, and he would like an evaluation done to determine if similar savings are possible in the recycling area. In addition, Golombek’s office says he is attempting to hold Allied Waste accountable by highlighting the citizen complaints with recycling pick-up.
I for one am resolving here to do a better job getting my household to recycle. Does anyone have suggestions for individuals trying to recycle? Maybe you have suggestions for the city to increase Buffalo’s recycling rate or efficiency. Let us know.

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