Feet on the Street
Smyrna, DE, DE Solid Waste Authority, WM, and The Recycling Partnership Launch Community-wide Campaign to Dramatically Improve Curbside Residential Recycling
The “Feet on the Street” Cart-Tagging Campaign is part of The Recycling Partnership’s Grant to Improve Recycling in Smyrna
Smyrna, DE - September 2023 – Smyrna has joined the Delaware Solid Waste Authority (DSWA), WM and The Recycling Partnership, an NGO that works with communities, companies and governments to transform the recycling system, to launch a Feet on the Street cart tagging recycling initiative —a communitywide initiative to improve the quality of recycling in single-stream curbside recycling bins by providing residents personalized and real-time curbside recycling education and feedback.
The Feet on the Street program is intended to increase the amount of quality recyclables – items that are accepted for recycling that are empty and dry, so they can circulate back into the recycling system to become new products or packaging. Developed by the circular economy national NGO, The Recycling Partnership, this program helps communities achieve economically efficient recycling programs, reduces the number of new resources used in packaging, and improves the health of communities.
“Recycling, when done properly, is good not only for the environment—it is good for Smyrna trash customers’ wallets,” said Sheldon P. Hudson, Town Manager. “Recycling saves Smyrna trash customers money by reducing the cost of dumping at the landfill—and gives them the ability to participate directly in driving a circular local recycling economy.”
“The Town knows most of its trash customers want to recycle the right way. Through the Feet on the Street campaign, we are providing them with personalized, real-time feedback as they strive to do this.”
Included in the Feet on the Street program is a comprehensive education and outreach strategy that involves a team of community-based observers visiting each resident’s cart and providing personalized and real-time feedback on how to improve what items should be in the cart. This results in capturing more quality recyclables that are then transformed into new materials, creating a more circular economy, a less wasteful planet, and stronger, healthier communities.
For Smyrna and all WM customers, recyclables should be loose and not in plastic bags. Items with food residue, batteries and small electronics should not be placed in recycling carts. Many of these materials can cause equipment jams at recycling processing facilities, creating hazards for recycling facility workers.
According to The Recycling Partnership, they have successfully implemented this program in more than 70 communities across the country, with some communities seeing a 57% decrease of non-recyclables in recycling and a 27% increase in the overall capture of quality recyclables.
For more information on what can and cannot go into curbside recycling, visit Smyrna.delaware.gov/366/Recycling, or call 302-653-9231