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MLK Day Holiday Trash Pickup Schedule; City Recycling Tonnage Increases

Since Atlanta’s new residential recycling program was launched in October, recycling tonnage has increased 23 percent.

The City of Atlanta's Office of Solid Waste Services will provide collection services as follows for the upcoming week as a result of Monday’s Martin Luther King, Jr., Day national holiday.

Collections will be delayed by one day after the holiday for the remainder of the week as follows:

- Monday collections will occur on Tuesday

- Tuesday collections will occur on  Wednesday

- Wednesday Collections will occur on Thursday

- Thursday collections will occur on Friday

The Office of Solid Waste Services Customer Service Call Center can be reached at (404) 330-6333 Monday - Thursday, 8:15 am - 5:00 pm. For emergencies after normal business hours, please call (404) 227-3520.

Meanwhile, Cartlanta, the City of Atlanta’s new residential recycling program, has reached an early milestone. Since the program’s October launch, recycling tonnage has increased from 1,079 tons collected to 1,403 tons, an increase of 23 percent. Internally, recycling collection rates in City Hall and other municipal buildings have increased six-fold.

“I am pleased that the city’s cart delivery schedule is on track and that City of Atlanta residents are responding enthusiastically to the program,” said Mayor Kasim Reed in a news release. “As we encourage our residents to recycle, we are leading by example and requiring City personnel to do the same. Collectively we’ve made vast improvements, and we hope the entire city --- residents, businesses and city employees --- will support our vision to make Atlanta a top-tier city for sustainability.”

In October, Reed, along with Atlanta City Councilman Aaron Watson and community leaders, launched the Cartlanta recycling effort with the goal of improving recycling rates across the city. At program inception, city residents generated 96,000 tons of trash annually, costing the city $7 million a year to dispose of in landfills. Recycling rates were roughly 12.5 percent or 12,000 tons annually. Diverting recyclables from landfills produces revenue for the City at a rate of $30 per ton.

“The city’s goal is to divert 90 percent of recyclable materials from our landfills, and a successful residential recycling program is critical to meeting that goal,” Director of Sustainability for the City of Atlanta Denise Quarles said in the release.

Cartlanta is managed by the Department of Public Works and is a key component of the city’s “Power to Change” sustainability plan. The initiative’s four-phase cart delivery plan began in Southwest Atlanta, and cart delivery is expected to conclude in the City’s Northwest quadrant in early 2013.

As part of the City’s employee-focused recycling efforts, all deskside trash bins were removed and replaced with new blue recycling bins. Centralized waste areas were created to encourage employees to recycle. Since July, recycling collection rates at several City-operated buildings involved in the early stages of the effort increased from 7 tons to 40 tons.

For updates on Cartlanta, a cart delivery schedule and more, please visit www.cartlanta.org.

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