Research shows that making recycling convenient is the most effective way of increasing residential recycling rates.
The City of Flin Flon purchased the trailer parked by Canadian Tire to collect recyclables in 2014 to make recycling more convenient for their residents. The trailer is emptied two to three times a week which indicates people are using it.
Curbside pickup is the most common way of increasing convenience.
The historical high in our community for tonnes recycled in a year is 500 in 2007. It was the fourth year of relatively free curbside pickup in Flin Flon and Creighton. The service ended May that year and recycling rates dropped. I wonder what the tonnage that year would have been that year if curbside had continued.
Curbside pickup has resulted in significant increases in recycling in Creighton and Denare Beach since they have provided it for their residents.
There is a cost for the convenience.
Creighton was able to provide the service with very little extra cost by changing one of the two weekly garbage pickups to a recycling pickup. Denare Beach residents voted in favour of paying a small annual fee per household to cover the costs.
The Recycling Centre began offering biweekly curbside service in Flin Flon in 2010. Residents buy a red bag to pay for the service. It became a weekly service in 2015.
Promotion of the red bag curbside service has resulted in more users although the number remains low. The program is just covering expenses but we would like to continue it as people without vehicles depend on it.
Is the $3.50 charge the reason?
Next week we will look at the other benefits of curbside pickup.