Oct. 7 2015 11:16 AM

City of East Lansing rolls out new recycling initiatives

The City of East Lansing introduced new 96-gallon curbside residential recycling bins this week.
McKenzie Hagerstrom/City Pulse

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 7 — The City of East Lansing is hoping to give the phrase “go green” a whole new meaning with its new and improved curbside recycling program. Beginning this week, the city will begin collecting recyclables from over 7,000 recently distributed 96-gallon curbside carts. The carts are provided to residents at no cost thanks to $125,000 grant from the Recycling Partnership and matching funds from the city. The Recycling Partnership is a national nonprofit that seeks to improve curbside recycling in the U.S.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to partner with the City of East Lansing,” said Keefe Harrison, executive director of the Recycling Partnership. “Their commitment to the success of the recycling program is to be commended.”

Last month, the East Lansing City Council also approved a contract allowing the city to share its recycling facilities with the City of Lansing.

The city is also rolling out a new hydraulic hybrid truck to serve as the primary recycling truck for the program. The first of its kind in Michigan, the truck utilizes energy accumulated from the vehicle’s braking system as well as from its diesel engine. The truck is expected to consume up to 50 percent less fuel than standard recycling trucks, and the City hopes to see emissions lowered by as much as 48 tons each year.

“This green vehicle is just one more way that East Lansing continues to be a leader in implementing practices that enhance the City’s livability today while preserving resources for tomorrow,” said Scott House, East Lansing Department of Public Works director.

The list of curbside recyclables has been greatly expanded as the city made the transition from bins to carts, allowing residents to responsibly dispose of items like boxboard, household scrap metal, rigid plastic containers and more. A comprehensive guide listing accepted curbside recyclables and the city’s collection schedule can be found on the City of East Lansing’s official website.

The new recycling program “is expected to increase the city’s recycling volumes by approximately 50 to 60 percent,” said Cathy Deshambo, East Lansing’s environmental services administrator.

In addition to the changes in curbside pickup, the City of East Lansing has also revealed plans to roll out public recycling containers in the downtown area. Mayor Nathan Triplett announced Monday that the city has been working towards this goal with the help of multinational packaging company AMCOR, which has been assisting this project by providing funding, tech assistance and guidance. The public bins are currently projected to hit the streets in spring 2016.

“We think it should be the norm that residents can have the same recycling ability, whether they’re downtown or at home,” Deshambo said.