Bi-weekly residential recycling collection
As of the first week of May 2021, residential customers will see a change in curbside collection of recyclable materials. This is when the City of Spokane Solid Waste Collection Service will switch to a bi-weekly recycling collection.
This change will allow the escalating costs of the recycling program to be managed without charging customers more.
Under the revised system, residential customers will continue to receive the weekly garbage collection on the same day they currently receive service. The recycling collection will be offered the same day of the week but will be completed every two weeks instead.
The new residential recycling routes have been finalized. Customers can use our Recycle Map tool to determine when recycling pickup will take place at their address.
Some customers may need more space for recycling. Larger carts will be available, but customers should wait and see before ordering one.
Studies show that most residents only take out their 68-gallon carts every two weeks or take them out when less than full. A customer’s current cart can work very well. If ultimately a customer needs a larger one, they can call 3-1-1, and a 96 gallon cart will be delivered. Larger carts will be ready for delivery in June, and additional recycling placed alongside existing carts will be collected until new carts arrive.
The switch to residential recycling every two weeks was approved by the mayor and the city council in the fall of 2020 during the work to update the city’s utility rates. Between 2013, the first full year of single-stream recycling in the big blue carts, and 2020, the cost of managing recyclable materials fell from $ 14,000 to $ 1.4 million. That’s 100 times more!
These increased costs are the result of:
- A dramatic drop in the prices collected for the sale of recyclable materials. These raw material prices were heavily influenced by China’s decision to no longer purchase most recyclables from the United States due to high contamination rates.
- More waste in recycling carts, resulting in increased material handling costs.
As we revise the recycling collection schedule, we are encouraging people to think about “Fair Recycling”. Here are some easy steps to consider:
- Only put empty, clean and dry items in it.
- Make sure the items are loose in the cart.
- Don’t guess what’s going on in the shopping cart. If it’s not on the list, don’t put it in the cart.