Jacksonville residents continue to contribute to the environment by strongly supporting the city’s free recycling program.
“Jacksonville residents are committed to recycling,” said Ward 2 Alderman Lori Oldenettel. “We have over 2,081 (households) participating in recycling.”
After a study in 2016 showed that these efforts were supported, the city’s recycling program started in 2017. Within a year, 1,996 households had signed up to keep recyclable materials out of landfills.
“In the first year 1,880 tons (garbage) were diverted from landfills,” said Oldenettel.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, residents were using the program, Oldenettel said, adding that it increased as people stayed home and used more recyclable items.
“It’s gone up but it’s stable,” she said. “It’s always hovered around 2,000.”
The city has signed a contract with Area Disposal to run the recycling program, and although the number of participants is limited, space is still available.
“It has an upper limit of 2,500 households, so we still have room to grow,” said Oldenettel.
With the theme “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Together “Jacksonville residents can take advantage of single-stream recycling, which keeps all of the recyclable materials – paper, plastic, and metal – in a single provided container instead of being separated.
Items that can be recycled are:
• Paper Products – Newspapers, Office Paper, Envelopes, Junk Mail, Telephone Books, Brochures, and Magazines;
• Plastic Bottles – Jugs and containers such as water bottles, milk jugs, detergent bottles, plastic glasses, and beverage bottles;
• Aluminum cans and containers such as beverage cans, food cans and scrap metal; and
• Cardboard such as file folders, poster cardboard, freezer boxes, cardboard and shipping boxes.
“We no longer accept glass because there is no market for it,” said Oldenettel.
A list of the unaccepted elements can be found at bit.ly/3erZO8S.
Oldenettel is happy that the city and its residents are using recycling and is pleased that the city is doing its part to provide the free service.
“It is good for me to do our part for the environment,” she said.