After a September dip in numbers, Summit County is reporting the county recycling rate is once again on the rise, indicating an overall increase in recyclers across the county.
"It's going to vary month to month, based on things like tourists that are here and the economy," Summit County Planner Stephanie Dolmat-Connell said.
In October, county officials had reported the September decrease and begun strategizing ways to continue to encourage recycling.
"We didn't have all the numbers in before. But as we've looked at the numbers again, we're actually doing pretty well, especially considering how new the program is, and how much it is saving the taxpayers," Dolmat-Connell said.
Prior to the new program, Summit County was operating several small pilot programs. Switching to a countywide program allowed one agency, Allied Waste, to service the whole county for less money. Officials estimate the program restructuring saves the county $900,000 a year.
"That's a huge savings, and it increases service to all county residences," Dolmat-Connell said. "The pilot programs were only serving 5,500 residences. With the new restructuring, the program now services everyone."
Allied Waste now services all 14,500 county residences, diverting 990 tons of waste from the landfill. Recycling rates have also increased by over 80 percent, with an outreach campaign aiming to increase the rates further.
"Allied Waste is working to get a flier out before the holiday season," Dolmat-Connell said. "It's a reminder of what can and cannot be recycled. They are also putting out a video that shows what happens with the recyclables, where they go and what happens to them."
When the video is complete, it will be posted at www.summitcounty.org .