Richland, WA - We're starting a new segment called Just Ask Shane, and we want you to be involved. It's pretty easy... you send me a question, and I'll try to find an answer for it.
Our first question comes from Cindy who wants to get an update on Richland's recycling program. Cindy says, "I'm curious how much funding the program is creating. Also, how are the residents of Richland doing with their recycling?"
We talked with the city's solid waste department, and they say their curbside recycling program is going well. It started in 2010 and now includes about 4,100 customers, which is about 25 percent of the city's population.
Last year, they collected close to 1,000 tons of recyclable materials and 5,000 tons of yard waste that was turned into compost. But in terms of bringing in revenue, the city says that was never part of the plan. They set up the recycling program to essentially break even every year.
"There's a cost involved with trucks and drivers picking it up curbside. But we also pay for the recycling. Our recycler bales it and sells it to a market over in seattle, and so there is a that the city incurs just for recycling," said Lynne Follett with Richland's Solid Waste Division.
The city's trucks dump their recycling material at Clayton Ward Recycling in north Richland, where it gets bailed and then trucked over to sorting centers on the west side of the state.
Follett also wants to remind customers to leave plastic grocery bags out of the recycling bin, and take them back to your favorite grocery store instead.
Remember, if you have a question, it's easy to connect with me. Just give me a call in the newsroom at (509) 737-6738, or send me an email at JustAskShane@nbcrightnow.com.