The City of Atlanta has partnered with non-profit organization The Recycling Partnership to launch a recycling education initiative called “Feet on the Street.”  The goal of the pilot project is to reduce contamination in the city’s single stream curbside recycling bins.

For the next eight weeks, a group of city employees will inspect recycling bins along four of the city’s recycling routes – Ansley Park, Collier Heights, Grant Park and the West End – to determine if they are acceptable or contaminated with non-recyclable contents.

“We’re focusing our pilot program on these four routes because although the residents in these communities actively recycle, their bins have high contamination rates,” said Michelle Wiseman, Director of Waste Diversion and Outreach with the Mayor’s Office of Resilience. “This program aims to resolve this issue by educating residents and as a result, should save taxpayer dollars.”

The “Feet on the Street” team will inspect bins for contamination and advise residents of items located in their bins that cannot be recycled through an informative tag. The resident is asked to correct the contamination so that the recycling can be collected the following week.

The Street team will log contamination using a smartphone app provided by Rubicon Global, an Atlanta based waste management company. Data will be used to inform future recycling educational campaigns.

The city accepts household paper, cardboard, unbroken glass bottles, aluminum cans and plastic containers in its single stream curbside recycling bins. Materials which contaminate these recyclables include: plastic bags, electronics, tanglers such as cords and hoses, polystyrene and building materials. Plastic bags are the most prevalent contaminant, and residents are asked not to bag recyclables.

Residents who wish to recycle plastic bags and other materials outside the accepted single stream curbside recycling bins are encouraged to drop off said materials at the Center for Hard to Recycle Materials or CHaRM located at 1110 Hill St, SE Atlanta, GA 30315. While unbroken glass bottles are accepted in the single stream curbside recycling bin, other types of glass, including broken glass should be treated as a possible contaminant. che City recommends dropping off broken glass and other glass at the CHaRM Center to ensure proper sorting and recycling.

For more information about the program, visit this link.