WHAT IS THE CITY OF LAFAYETTE’S WASTE DIVERSION GOAL?
In February of 2011, the city of Lafayette announced a collaborative effort to reach a 75% waste diversion goal over the next five years. This means diverting 75% of the waste produced in lafayette away from landfills through recycling, reuse, and reduction efforts. Lafayette currently diverts 60% of the garbage produced, which means the city must increase its diversion rate by 15% to achieve this goal.
WHY SHOULD I CARE ABOUT RECYCLING?
Repurposing our glass, aluminum, paper, plastic, etc. has huge implications for the environment. Reducing demand on virgin sources of materials helps reduce environmental, economic and health problems. With over 230 million pounds of trash generated in the US each year, there is a huge opportunity for improvement.
HOW IS LAFAYETTE'S "DIVERSION RATE" CALCULATED?
Simply put, diversion rate is a ratio of how much stuff is put into the recycling or compost bins divided by all the stuff that’s thrown away in all the bins (recycling, compost and trash). If you recycled half of all your household “trash”, your diversion rate would be 50%. Of course, there’s more to it than that: diversion rate is calculated by weight — not volume, and some green bin materials end up at the landfill as ground cover. But in general, the higher diversion rate, the better, because it means less waste is going to our landfill.
WHO PRODUCES THE MOST WASTE IN LAFAYETTE?
Contribution of each sector:
* Residential: 31.6%
* Commercial: 47.0%
* Self-Haul: 21.4%
WHAT MATERIALS ARE MOST COMMONLY THROWN AWAY?
Residential waste stream, by material type:
- Food & other composite organics- 30.5%
- Leaves & grass – 10.5%
- All paper – 19.4%
- Plastic film – 4.2%
- Textiles – 2.4%
Commercial waste stream, by material type:
- Paper (including cardboard) – 34%
- Food – 24%
- Miscellaneous construction and demolition debris – 13%
- Yard waste – 10%
- Plastic – 9%
WHAT'S THE BENEFIT FOR INCREASING MY DIVERSION RATE?
Whether you recycle, compost or otherwise reuse materials, you’re reducing the amount of trash that is placed in the blue trash bins. Allied Waste charges all customers — residents, businesses and schools — a fee that is based on the size of the trash cart. By reducing your trash and moving to a smaller size bin, you’d be saving on each and every bill. Plus, you’ll feel great for doing the right thing!