EVERY WEDNESDAY NIGHT THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER, I’M RE-POSTING SOME OLD BLOGS I THOUGHT WERE INTERESTING AND WORTH A SECOND LOOK, OR A FIRST GLANCE FOR MY MANY NEW READERS.
Back on 1/01/2013 the city of Franklin where I live changed recyclable containers from 18 gallon tubs (picnic basket-sized containers) to 96 gallon (or 48 gallon upon request) carts that look like this.
I ripped the idea at the time. But I was wrong and adjusted to the change quickly. There remains the question of how effective recycling really is and if municipalities like mine should just trash the whole practice.
From blogs I posted in 2019:
Is recycling popular in Wisconsin?
That bastion of outstanding journalism, the Shepherd Express, without crediting sources reported that in Wisconsin, recycling supports 97,000 jobs and contributes to the $5.4 billion-dollar environmental industry, and 94% of households in the state support recycling and recycle regularly.
Then you have wisconsinenvironment.org that reports:
Recycling rates in major cities throughout Wisconsin reveal one of the more wasteful states in the nation. Based on the most recent available data, only Madison and Waukesha have managed to eclipse the national average of 34.7 percent (see table below).5Due to a lack of reporting in certain jurisdictions, the state’s overall recycling rate is unclear. However, given low rates in major cities, evidence from other states suggests that Wisconsin’s statewide rate is even lower than the national average.
I’m guessing that here in Franklin recycling is immensely popular. Popular in that it doesn’t bring giddy joy and enthusiasm, but that the practice is one that’s embraced, with residents willing to comply for what they perceive to be a greater good.
And yet recycling is increasingly being frowned upon, not by the folks that drag their carts to the end of their driveways, but by the elected officials in charge. Why? The cost.
The NY Times reports more cities have decided to get rid of recycling, again, because of the cost.
Johns Disposal in action.
Founded in 1969 Johns Disposal services cities, towns and villages in Dane, Milwaukee, Jefferson, Kenosha, Racine, Rock, Walworth, and Waukesha counties. And that includes Franklin.
China has decided to ban all recycling imports, and that change is being felt here in Wisconsin.
“Our processing costs are not nearly what they need to be to cover costs,” said Dan Jongetjes, general manager of Johns Disposal. “Some of our communities, like Racine, have been willing to amend (their contracts) to help us, which we’re very grateful for, but that’s a fine line to walk.”
The the Franklin Common Council unanimously approved details on a new contract for 2020 with Johns Disposal Services to provide weekly recycling and automated garbage services.
Both recycling AND trash will be collected with automated trucks. ONLY carts will be collected (no more plastic bags, stuff on the side, thin cans, etc.)
Recycling will be collected WEEKLY.
Residents will be able to choose the size of carts/cans they want.
Franklin has decided to recycle more often, bucking the national trend. How so?
Finally, to the major issue at hand.