LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) Lafayette Consolidated Government needs your help to improve its recycling program.
“Feet on the Street” is a program aimed to get people to put the right materials in the curbside recycling carts.
The first part of the program rolled out back in November and December. If you live in the City of Lafayette, or places in the parish, stickers were placed on the light blue topped curbside recycle cart. The sticker shows what should go in the cart to be recycled, and what should not.
Roughly 20,000 recycle carts are collected each week. The city says between 30%-50% of the material is found to be contaminated, and must be taken to the landfill.
Starting Monday, January 11th, city workers will inspect the contents of all curbside recycle carts. If there’s contamination, the cart will get an “Oops Tag”. The tag notifies the homeowner their recycle cart will not be emptied. LCG’s Environmental Quality Manager Bess Foret hopes the meaning behind it, to recycle correctly, will catch on, or else.
“Your recycling won’t get collected, if you don’t fix that problem,” said Foret. “That’s something we really want people to take in mind. It’s important that it’s corrected. So, they’re putting the right thing in the recycling cart.”
Republic Services has the garbage and recycling contract with LCG.
“You can’t do anything with contaminated material,” said Chuck Lagrange, of Republic Services. “Contaminated material is garbage. You need to have material that you can process. That’s what we’re aiming for.”
Foret says items that don’t belong in your cart can contaminate the recycling material. When that happens, items in the cart go to the landfill, instead of being recycled, defeating the purpose of recycling. It also makes the whole process more costly. Ultimately, if it’s not done right, whatever is in your recycle cart won’t be picked up and hauled away. That might make some people upset, but Foret says it’s for the good of the recycling program.
“We don’t want to be the mean guy, and not pick up your recycling. We do want people to understand that it’s important,” said Foret.