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The Scoop

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Fort Wayne’s 1-cart recycling wins Governor’s Award

Statement as issued Wednesday by the city of Fort Wayne:

Fort Wayne’s award winning recycling program has been named winner of the 2012 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence in Indiana.

The popular One-Cart Recycling program has seen a 42% rise in resident participation since the new system was implemented early last year. With the old two-bin system, only 33% of Fort Wayne residents were participating and today 75% of our residents are recycling with the new one cart system.

The Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence honors programs in communities that have made extraordinary efforts to protect and benefit Indiana residents and the environment.

The Governor’s Award, presented at this week’s 20th Annual Conference of the Association of Indiana Solid Waste Management Districts, is the third honor for Fort Wayne’s One-Cart Recycling program. Earlier this year, the City was recognized as the best in the nation – receiving the "Gold" award for excellence from the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA). Last October the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns honored Fort Wayne with the Community Achievement Award for increasing recycling participation while reducing the contract price and sharing the savings with residents by reducing residential garbage fees twice in one year.

The success of the recycling program can be attributed, in part, to the collaborative process used to create it. In 2010, Mayor Tom Henry asked neighborhood leaders to participate in the Solid Waste Contract Committee to explore options for a new solid waste contract. The goal of the Committee was to develop the best possible system for Fort Wayne with the lowest possible cost.

The resulting contract with Republic Services provides a lower contract price, a 50 percent share of the profits generated by the sale of recyclable material, a new one cart recycling system, and the use of automated trucks. The highly successful process allowed Mayor Henry to reduce residential garbage fees by more than a million dollars. That savings was passed on to residents in the form of two rate reductions.

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