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Rumpke trash totersIn 2016, the City of Montgomery ranked fifth among 48 Hamilton County communities that participate in the Hamilton County Residential Recycling Initiative (RRI) program; however, the recycling rates as a percentage of total waste has been declining for several years. The RRI program is valuable to the City of Montgomery. Hamilton County divides $1,050,000 annually in RRI funds among Hamilton County communities as an incentive to increase recycling.  As a community increases its recycling rate, the community receives more RRI funds. The RRI dollars are driven by recycling rates as shown in the table.

 

Recycling RateRRI Dollars Per Ton
Greater than 30%$38.959
25% - 29.99%$34.959
20% - 24.99%$30.949
15% - 19.99%$26.959
10% - 14.99%$22.959

 

During 2016, Montgomery’s recycling rate was 25.49 percent and received $38,875.98 in RRI incentives. RRI money must be used to offset the cost of recycling programs within the City. Montgomery contracts with Rumpke for recycling services.

Contracted Recycling Services include:

  • curbside recycling
  • monthly recycling drop-off program for cardboard, metal, and seasonal items such as potting plants, holiday light strands, and extension cords

The RRI dollars operate the weekly recycling program so there is no direct fee to residents for curbside recycling collection. The City also has periodic shredding and recycling events that are cost-free to residents, which counts towards recycling tonnage and preventing waste from going into the landfill.

The table below shows the rate of waste diverted from the landfill over the past seven years.

YearDiverted TonsDisposed TonsTotal Generated TonsDiversion Rate
20101460.03263.94723.930.9
20111490.93168.94659.732.0
20121361.13271.34632.429.4
20131264.82862.14126.930.6
20141211.83173.14384.927.6
20151144.03143.94287.826.7
20161095.93203.54299.425.5

Montgomery’s 2016 recycling rate of 25.49 percent diverted 1,095.94 tons of waste materials from the landfill. But how does this compare to previous years?

The total generated waste dropped by 8.5 percent since 2010, but the diversion rate has fallen from about 31 percent to 25.5 percent; resulting in a lower RRI dollars per ton. If we diverted another 194 tons (4.5 percent of total waste), we would have achieved the 30 percent level resulting in incentives of $50,257, an increase of $11,900.

For the first six months of 2017, the City of Montgomery recycled 537.34 tons and achieved a 23.41 percent recycling rate. So far this is not on pace with our 2016 rate and RRI dollars per ton are at risk. Montgomery has achieved a 30 percent diversion rate in the past and this level of diversion is achievable.

The City continues to look for new ways to capture recyclable tonnage. In 2017, recycling rates began to include yard waste. In December, curbside textile collection will begin and that will also be included in the recyclable tonnage. The City encourages all residents to continue participating in the recycling programs and other opportunities to keep material out of landfills.

Do you have any ideas on how Montgomery can increase its diversion of waste? Please contact a member of the Environmental Advisory Commission or call City Hall at 513-891-2424 with your ideas.