As of July 2022, the City of Ann Arbor is participating in the “Feet on the Street” campaign to improve residential recycling quality. The project is being completed with the assistance of The Recycling Partnership and through its membership in the Washtenaw Regional Resource Management Authority (WRRMA).
Ann Arbor’s “Feet on the Street” cart-tagging recycling initiative is a community wide effort to improve the quality of recycling in single-stream curbside recycling carts by providing residents personalized and real-time curbside recycling education and feedback. The Recycling Partnership has successfully implemented the “Feet on the Street” program in over 70 communities around the nation, with some communities seeing as much as a 57% decrease of nonrecyclables in recycling and average a 27% increase in the overall capture of quality recyclables.
Postcards of recycling information will be mailed to residents in single-family homes in late June indicating what to recycle and what not to recycle in the curbside recycling cart. Residents are asked to replace all old recycling information including old refrigerator magnets with the updated postcard.
From July 11 to Aug. 5, cart-tagging staff, wearing high-visibility vests, will look at each cart while it is at the curb prior to it being emptied by the recycling truck. They will quickly lift the lid, look inside the cart and then use their findings to provide individualized feedback as needed.
If the cart-tagger sees something in the recycling cart that does not belong there, an orange “oops” tag will be placed on the cart with clear feedback on how to fix it. If material that is not recyclable in your curbside cart is found in the cart on the future visit, the recycling cart will be tagged with a red tag and will not be serviced until the contamination is removed. After two to three passes, another postcard will be sent to all residents in single-family homes with educational information about the items that were most prevalent and problematic.
Residents should contact City of Ann Arbor Customer Service at 734.994.7336 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions before or during the program.
For more information on the campaign, please visit www.a2gov.org/recycle.
This work is being done with funds from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) and The Recycling Partnership and in collaboration with the City of Ann Arbor Public Works and Office of Sustainability and Innovation, the Washtenaw Regional Resource Management Authority (WRRMA), Recycle Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County.