I was giving a little more thought to the issue of the city’s decision to cut the white community recycling bins.
I did a little quick math, assuming that statistics thrown around by the city are correct.
The Department of Environmental Services website says 160,000 single family homes now have curbside recycling, with another 20,000 currently outside of the service area. The city decided that experimenting with how to service these additional homes is a higher priority than continuing the white bin program.
It seems to me the basic math calls that into question.
Curbside recycling at those 160,000 homes collects about 20,000 tons annually.
The additional 20,000 homes represent 1/8 of the number of homes that already have curbside pickup, so would be expected to increase the total amount of recycled material by the same proportion. This means extending curbside recycling to all single family homes would increase the total by 2,500 tons annually.
Compare that to the white bin program, which was bringing in 4,000 tons annually, or 60 percent more than the still theoretical expansion, according to the city’s statistics. An improved and more efficient community program would most likely expand that total.
Obviously this rough math isn’t a final answer, but it does suggest that supporters of the white bin program shouldn’t be so quickly dismissed.