On June 6, local residents are invited to join the Buffalo Recycling Alliance to help increase recycling and reduce waste in Buffalo - saving money, protecting the environment and creating jobs.
Recycling every day, at home, at work and at play, is easy. So why doesn't everyone do it? That's the big question. So enter the Buffalo Recycling Alliance to turn up the volume, push the pedal to the medal and get Buffalo's recycling into high gear.
Riding the success of the City of Buffalo's increased recycling rate, the newly-formed Buffalo Recycling Alliance is ready to help city residents and businesses do more with their newspaper comics, tuna fish cans, and laundry soap jugs.
Kudos to city residents for doubling their recycling rate from 8 to 16 percent, but we all know we can do better. The challenge, according to the Alliance, is to raise the city's recycling rate to the national average (34%) within a year. Who knows, maybe after that we might take the title away from San Francisco, which has the top rate of 72 percent. Sounds like two great goals to shoot for.
So what's the plan? Get more people to recycle of course.
The Alliance plans on getting more people to recycle by working with you and your relatives, friends and neighbors who are part of business associations, block clubs, faith groups and others to spread the word about how easy recycling is and the benefits of recycling.
“Recycling is one of the easiest ways for residents and businesses to make Buffalo a better place and protect our natural environment,” said Cara Matteliano, Vice-President of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo.
Did you know the the city estimates that it saves about $150,000 for every 3,500 tons of waste recycled, and that every one percent increase in the recycling rate will save the city between $70,000 and $100,000.
“We want to get the word out to people that recycling saves the city money,” Rahwa Ghirmatzion, Executive Director of Ujima Theatre said. “Every dollar we save by recycling means one more dollar for teachers, police officers, fire fighters, community centers, and other public goods.”
Businesses and multi-family residences also need to step up the recycling to help raise Buffalo's recycling image and average. While there has been a state law since 1996 that requires both these groups to recycle, these two groups are way behind.
Think about the paper you use in your office. Do you recycle it or toss it in the garbage? The yogurt cup from lunch, does it go in a recycling bin or the trash can? Do you work in a manufacturing plant? Is the cardboard, glass or metal being recycled? If not, speak up and get involved.
“Local, independent businesses have significantly contributed to an increase in the recycling rate as they pursue the triple bottom line: people, planet, and profit,” said Sarah Bishop, Executive Director of Buffalo First. “They look forward to being on the forefront of the newly formed Buffalo Recycling Alliance.”
If you live in a multi-family residence, you can help too. Let your property owner or manager know that recycling is important. Create some competition between your neighbor or on your floor. Set an example for those around you, and who knows, maybe your apartment building will be linked to someone getting a job.
What? That's right, recycling creates 10 jobs in processing and 25 jobs in manufacturing for every 10,000 tons. Now that's something to be proud of and to push for.
So, join the recycling wave and set a great example for everyone. The Alliance will meet the first Wednesday of every month. The first meeting is June 6 at 5:30 PM at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. View more information about the first meeting here.