Maybe I am not being fair - I hope someone will correct me. But if you look at waste from our homes in Takoma Park, we've been stuck in neutral while other progressive places around the country are moving ahead. By my estimate, we recycled 55% of waste in 2010 - that is 4,310 tons of leaves, yard waste and recyclable materials. We produced about 2.5 pounds of total waste/person every day of the year. The City of Berkeley California (the Takoma Park of the West) is producing only 1.8 pounds of waste/person/day and recycling 60% of it - i.e. they are making less waste and recycling more of it. Nearby Greenbelt is producing less waste than us too and reporting a 57% recycling rate.
Takoma Park's planned kitchen compost collection program is a big step in the right direction but plans to launch it in January are on hold while the partner taking our kitchen compost further prepares their site. In the spring, I hope we can pilot using large, wheeled recycling bins to see if that change makes it easy to recycle. I am also going to work to get a session on trash and recycling on a spring City Council agenda - it would be great to have a chance to hear the community's ideas on how we can continue to improve.