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07/17/2012 05 Audience Participation • OUREARTHORG City of Yakima Recycling Program City Wide Recycling Proposal Ben Pitman 7/17/2012 The following document illustrates the need for a city wide recycling program. This document includes an overview of the recycling crisis and a strategy to enact a city wide recycling program. City of Yakima Curbside Recycling Proposal Overview The City of Yakima has roughly 91,000 residents living with the city limits, making Yakima the 8th most populated city in Washington State. In addition, the unincorporated suburban areas of West Valley and Terrace Heights are considered a part of greater Yakima. With these cities included in the immediate area, population within 20 miles of the city is over 123,000. Currently the City of Yakima does not have a mandated curbside recycling program. The physical layout of the city and the low county wide dumping fees are preventing the City of Yakima from establishing adequate systems for recycling program. Strategic Theme Recycling Implement recycling program within the city limits of Yakima. The Terrace Heights landfill is currently set to max out in 2019. To extend the life of the landfill the City of Yakima must create mandatory recycling programs which will ultimately sustain the Yakima County's landfill rates. Washington States average cost to ship garbage out is currently somewhere between $65 and $70 a ton. Yakima is fortunate to only pay $30.89 per ton of waste. However, after 2019 all waste must be shipped out of the county making Yakima pay more for its curbside municipal garbage pickup. 1 City of Yakima Curbside Recycling Proposal Recycling Challenge Each person in Yakima County discards the equivalent of 6 pounds of waste daily. More than 50% of that waste is reusable or recyclable. These recyclables must be disposed of properly in order to prevent loss of natural resources and energy, and increasing costs of disposal. Goal 1- Mandated Curbside Recycling in the city limits of Yakima. Description: Currently Yakima County houses three separate landfills, the Terrace Heights Landfill located in Yakima, the Lower Valley Transfer Station located in Granger, and the Cheyne Landfill located in Zillah. The Terrace Heights Landfill takes in all of the City of Yakima's waste. Landfills in Yakima County currently receive over 250,000 tons of waste each year. The City of Yakima uses the Terrace Heights landfill which is expected to fill up by 2019. Removing recyclables from the garbage will extend the life of the landfill. Strategies to reach this goal ➢ Collaborate with Yakima Waste System. ➢ Yakima Waste Systems of Waste Connection has the proper facility to take in all recyclable for the City of Yakima. ➢ Yakima Waste Systems already serves as Yakima's curbside recycling system. ➢ Waste Connection has already committed to providing any additional trucks, recycling bins and capable employees. 2 City of Yakima Curbside Recycling Proposal ➢ Educate the citizens of Yakima on why recycling is needed. Cost The amount of money actually saved through recycling depends on the efficiency of the recycling program used to do it. With a recycling sorting operation already established, Yakima will stand to prosper economically. Yakima will also emerge as leaders in this new sustainable era. There are also externalities that illustrate the need for a city wide recycling program. Externalities are un -paid cost and benefits that accrue to individuals outside of private transactions that will benefit our community for generations. Externalities Examples: ➢ Decreased air pollution and greenhouse gases from incineration. ➢ Reduced hazardous waste leaching from landfills. ➢ Reduced energy consumption. ➢ Reduced waste and resource consumption (which leads to a reduction in environmentally damaging mining and timber activity). External Factors The following external factors could prevent the mandate of curbside recycling form becoming a reality. ➢ Yakima City Council does not approve the above. ➢ Waste Connections does not agree with their end of the agreement. ➢ The people of Yakima are uneducated as how to recycle properly. 3 City of Yakima Curbside Recycling Proposal Important Facts to Consider ➢ It can be done east of the mountains; Spokane County recycled 51 percent of its trash in 2010. ➢ Plastic bottles can take up to 1000 years before they begin to decompose once • buried. ➢ According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), approximately 35 percent of the municipal solid waste stream (MSW) is made up of paper and paperboard products. ➢ Recycling just 1 ton of aluminum cans conserves more than 207 million Btu, the equivalent of 36 barrels of oil, or 1,665 gallons of gasoline. ➢ Recycling and composting more than 85 million tons of MSW saved more than 1.3 quadrillion Btu of energy, the equivalent of over 229 million barrels of oil. ➢ If you live within the City of Yakima and unincorporated areas of Yakima County (Terrace Heights, West Valley and outlying urban areas of Selah), curbside may be available in your neighborhood. To find out, call Yakima Waste Systems at (509) 248 -4213. , 4