Columbus Mayor Wants “Green” City

Listen to the Story

The City of Columbus recently threw out it’s Blue Bag Residential Recyling program and city officials are now banking on businesses to increase recycling rates. When the City of Columbus first rolled out the Blue Bag Recycling Program in January 2005, Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman was optimistic. But now, just a year and a half later, that same program is considered a failure. “It just didn’t pan out.” Says Coleman.

Coleman adds people still did not want to pay to recycle. Even though the 15 cents per bag cost was less than the 5 dollar a month charge for a curbside recycling bin, not enough people used the blue bags.

So Mayor Coleman is setting his sights on a new market. The new focus is on businesses which, Coleman says, produce most of the city’s waste in the first place. The effort supports businesses that take their commercial waste to recycling plants rather than dump it at the city landfill.

At a private recycling plant on Jefferson Pike, trucks line up to process piles and piles of recycable cardboard. Materials that was once destined for burial in the city landfill. Plant owner Steve Grossman, explains businesses can save money recycling waste.

Incentives are also in store for businesses that recycle. While not finalized, Coleman says, the participants could see lower tax bills.

Only 3% of Columbus households participant in the city curbside recycling program. Coleman says he is not abandoning residential recycling programs. The city plans to add 100 recycling drop-boxes at local schools.