To reduce the levels of contamination and increase awareness of recycling, the city of Peoria just launched the Blue Lid Pilot Program at 2,600 homes in Peoria, including homes in 85383. Made possible by a grant from The Recycling Partnership, this pilot program replaces the lids of the city’s dark brown recycling bins with blue lids.
“In this day and age, we must maximize our diversion of recyclable material away from the landfill and minimize our contamination of the recycle container,” says Kevin Burke, Peoria’s director of public works. “The Blue Lid Pilot Program is an experiment to see if being more obvious and detailed about recycling might facilitate both goals.”
The new blue lids are marked with a list of acceptable and non-acceptable recyclable items, and are affixed to the top of the dark brown city recycling bins. Before the pilot program began on May 3, a consultant audited recycled material from 2,600 homes to measure the levels of contamination. Contamination occurs when plastic bags, yard clippings, food or non-recyclable items are mixed in with recyclable materials in the dark brown recycle container. Once all the lids at those homes have been swapped out, recycling inspectors will periodically conduct inspections in selected areas to ensure that the correct recyclables are being placed in the can. If contamination is found in the recycling container, the inspector will “tag” the container and inform the resident which non-recyclable items were found in the container.
The city will collect information for six weeks and complete the Blue Lid Pilot Program on June 29. Upon completion, the consultant will conduct another waste characterization audit of the area to measure contamination to see how effective the blue lids were in encouraging correct recycling habits. The results of the pilot program will be shared with residents and council.
The Peoria City Council approved the pilot program and, in August 2020, The Recycling Partnership awarded the city of Peoria a grant for $174,192 to operate the program. The Recycling Partnership is a national, nonprofit organization that invests in protecting resources and empowering sustainable action. To learn more about the organization, visit recyclingpartnership.org.
For more information about this pilot program or the city’s recycling efforts, visit peoriaaz.gov/recycling or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.