MUNCIE, IN - The Muncie Sanitary District kicked off a new recycling effort, offering incentives for people to fill up more blue bags with renewable material.
The aim of Project 50, says Bill Smith, administrator and president of the sanitary district, is to increase recycling from about 36 percent to 50 percent by the end of the year. The program begins Aug. 1.
And to do that, the district is giving away free tickets, free eats and even a trip to people who recycle the most. District crews will check blue bag use and decide the most recycling each week, every month and throughout the year.
Smith was thankful that local businesses like McDonalds and Bill McCoy Ford provided fabulous rewards like free food and oil changes to promote recycling and keep the community clean.
“We have to look at new ways to encourage people to recycle and help protect the environment,” said Smith, given Indiana has been reluctant to make recycling mandatory.
Indiana stopped funding local recycling programs during the recession in 2008, while continuing to collect landfill fees for that program. The Legislature just refunded that program this year after lawmakers learned more than 60 million tons of raw materials like metal, glass and paper are thrown away annually.
Smith hoped the district’s customers would embrace the new program as the district looks at other ways to recapture raw material from the trash. It uses East Central Recycling. A private firms that sorts renewable material from trash collections.
Nikki Grigsby, the districts PR Director, is in charge of Project 50 and is confident that customers can reach the 50 percent goal.
Customers are asked to put blue bags on top of their Toter trash so district crews can randomly check up to 10 Toters each week.
There will be weekly and monthly drawings for rewards offered by local businesses. And those winners will be eligible for a grand prize at the end of the year.
Local businesses providing the incentives also will be listed as the district’s green partners in other promotional material.