Needs Improvement

Waste stream diversion rate

Target

The target for recycling diversion is set at 30%. This is a stretch target.

Analysis

This measure captures blue cart vs. green cart. In FY 17, Solid Waste Management (SWM) rolled out the "Put Your Trash on a Diet" campaign, and combined resources with several other municipalities to advertise recycling in the Indy Week publication during the holidays. Additionally, SWM worked with Time Warner Cable / Spectrum on commercial advertisements that ran January/February 2017. Finally, SWM worked with the Office of Performance & Innovation (OPI) and the Center for Advanced Hindsight associated with Duke University on a project to see if recycling behavior can be positively affected. In FY 18, the same efforts were undertaken and more educational materials were distributed. SWM is poised to affect this rate more in FY 19 because of efforts underway to address some waste streams with composting, and textiles. FY 18 was a slight improvement over FY 17, with the diversion rate exceeding 25% for the first time. FY 19 is off to a better start than FY 18. July and August both saw rates exceeding 25% diversion which was significantly better than 2017's rates of just over 20%. However, September and October were slightly down from the previous year. Collections were disrupted in September however by hurricane Florence. November and December were up slightly from FY 18.

Next Steps

The department is poised to add organic waste to the compost program. The necessary Type 4 permit was issued by the State in January 2019. Diverting some of that waste from the garbage stream will improve this measure as the garbage portion of the denominator should be positively affected. In 2018, the City began taking textiles at the Convenience Center. A previous study found that a significant portion of the waste stream was comprised of textiles. The more items that can be diverted from the green carts, the more this measure will improve. The department is currently exploring options for providing diversion options for other materials as well.

Status Indicators: On Target On Target | Close to Target Close to Target | Needs Improvement Needs Improvement | Target Pending Target Pending