Living Green: Find out how the City of Richland recycles - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Living Green: Find out how the City of Richland recycles

Posted: Updated:
Recycled material is collected at Clayton Ward in Richland. Recycled material is collected at Clayton Ward in Richland.

RICHLAND, WA- April is Earth month and all month long NBC Right Now will talk about different ways to live green.  The City of Richland has a curbside program for residents to recycle items.

There are many different ways people in the City of Richland can recycle and one of those ways are recycle bins.

"I think everyone should recycle because it's our responsibility to preserve as much as we can of this earth," said Sorcha Fox, Richland resident who recycles.

Fox is just one of more than 5,000 households and businesses who use Richland's curbside program.  Users pay a little more than $5 a month to get a blue bin to put items up for recycling.  In 2015, the city collected more than 2,000 tons of recyclables.  There is a big reason why the City of Richland offers this. 

"...because we own our own landfill and we have to make that landfill last," said Gail Everett, City of Richland Communications.

In 2015, garbage crews collected more than 55,000 tons of garbage that ended up in the landfill.  That landfill is only expected to last until 2019.

"Some folks don't think recycling works, but they don't get out and see what happens to our garbage," said Everett.

Everett has samples of garbage collected from the landfill from several decades ago.  Most of it is still in tact.  There are more things to recycle than just plastic bottles and newspapers.

"Egg cartons, old homework, old greeting cards, wrapping paper, any type of junk mail. there's so much paper that we use in our house and once you start separating that out, it's amazing how much less you have in your garbage can," said Everett.

"I think it's really important that we do as much as we can to preserve whatever resources are left, which isn't a whole lot at this point.  I think it's a responsibility that everyone has to recycle as much as possible," said Fox.

After the recycle bins are picked up, they are taken to Clayton Ward Recycling in Richland.  The goods are separated and packed into squares. Then they are shipped off to be recycled.

"The possibilities are endless.  We can keep reusing and reusing.   We don't have to dig into our environment and get out the minerals and use as much energy and water.  Recycling just makes sense and it's something everybody can do and participate in," said Everett.

"I do think it's really important and we appreciate a lot, having this service available," said Fox.

For more information on the recycling bins, drop off locations, and items that can be recycled, visit the City of Richland's website.  For drop off locations, click here