Kalamazoo launches new recycling campaigns

Campaigns aim to increase participation, boost sustainability

Kalamazoo is launching a new recycling campaign this month to increase the amount of recyclable material residents send to the curb. The city has launched two separate campaigns geared toward single-family and multifamily homes.

The single-family campaign focuses on making sure that residents are aware of what materials are recyclable and how to put their recyclables on the curb. The city is mailing educational materials to residents with that information as well as how often their recyclables are emptied by the curbside collection service.

Kalamazoo’s single-family project is based on the success of The Recycling Partnership’s Center for Sustainable Behavior & Impact’s Cincinnati, OH project where similar initiatives resulted in increased participation in the recycling program. In Cincinnati, 40% of households who were not previously recycling started recycling after receiving education and resources. The project also resulted in more recyclable materials being captured with 62% of targeted households setting out more frequently on average and increasing recycling route tons by 94%. The Partnership hopes to achieve similar results in the City of Kalamazoo.

“Recycling is not only the right thing to do, but also the smart thing to do,” said Kalamazoo Public Services Director James Baker. ”Recycling properly saves our taxpayers money by reducing the cost of sending recyclable materials to the landfill, supports jobs, and improves the health of the environment. We know residents want to recycle the right way and through this campaign, we are providing them with the tools to do just that.”

In Kalamazoo, residential properties with five or more units can recycle, too. A variety of container sizes and collection schedules are available to meet a property’s needs. In an effort to bolster this equitable service across the City of Kalamazoo, beginning this spring, a program focused on providing additional recycling infrastructure and education to over 980 households in multifamily properties will launch in the City of Kalamazoo. The customized program will provide resources to multifamily properties and increase residents’ knowledge of what is and isn’t recyclable and how to participate in the recycling program. Multi-unit recycling collects the same materials as the curbside program and offers 24-hour access to residents. If you’re not already recycling, ask your property manager to start today. If you manage a multi-unit property, call 311 or (269) 337-8000 to offer recycling for your tenants.

The dual campaigns spearheaded by the city’s Department of Public Services (DPS) are funded with $304,500 in grants and technical support from the Michigan Dept. of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and national nonprofit The Recycling Partnership.

Learn more about what is and is not acceptable to recycle in Kalamazoo at KalamazooCity.org/recycle-it.