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Waste & Recycling February 07, 2018 09:30:30 AM

Louisville Releases Results of 2-Year Solid Waste Study

Waste Advantage
ScrapMonster Contributor
Potentially recoverable residential waste was far more likely to end up in the landfill, the report said. Just 18 percent of material that could have been diverted from the landfill in 2015 actually was.
Louisville Releases Results of 2-Year Solid Waste Study

SEATTLE (Waste Advantage): Jefferson County is sending far more waste to landfills than it needs to. In fact, about half of materials that could have been recycled or composted were trashed by citizens and businesses in 2015, according to a third-party study commissioned by the Louisville Metro Department of Public Works. That’s about 834,000 tons.

The two-year study, released last week, sought to shine a light on Jefferson County’s waste management system from start to finish, said Pete Flood, Public Works’ compliance and enforcement manager. “To know exactly what we have going into the landfill is the first step towards being able to reduce what goes into the landfill,” he said.

The two sectors that performed best at keeping recyclable or compostable materials out of landfills were construction and demolition, which diverted 81 percent of materials, and industrial, commercial and institutional, which diverted 42 percent, according to 2015 data.

Flood said that could be because some operators in those sectors have set sustainability goals based on customer demand, economics or both. He said that even though these sectors are performing well, even higher rates of diversion from landfill could have a major impact.

Potentially recoverable residential waste was far more likely to end up in the landfill, the report said. Just 18 percent of material that could have been diverted from the landfill in 2015 actually was.

And he said only about 30 percent of residential customers participate in recycling programs. That could be because parts of Jefferson County require residents to opt in to recycling pickup for an extra fee.

“Really the holy grail of getting anything off the ground in residential is you have to be able to convince people that it’s in their best interest,” Flood said.

Courtesy: https://wasteadvantagemag.com

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