South Bend, Indiana, switches from plastic to paper bags for residential yard waste pickup to reduce costs, says will result in cost savings including over $40,000 in landfill tipping fees, labor and equipment costs for separating

SOUTH BEND, Indiana , August 2, 2012 (press release) – Mayor Pete Buttigieg, along with the Department of Solid Waste and Organic Resources, is asking South Bend residents to switch from plastic to paper bags for future yard waste pickup. The Department of Solid Waste seeks participation from city residents to assist with the transition.

“We are asking residents to switch from plastic to paper bags to save the city and taxpayers’ money, offer cleaner options, and create a more efficient pickup system for city crews,” Mayor Buttigieg said.

The City is transferring from plastic to paper bags for the following reasons:

Cost savings in excess of $40,000 in landfill tipping fees per year
Fuel savings from reduction in trucking of waste plastics to the landfill from Organic Resources
Reduces labor and equipment costs due to less time separating plastics and natural waste
Environmentally friendly as paper bags are made of natural products and disintegrate faster than plastic bags

On trash collection days, items for pick up should be placed in front, at the curb, in an open area, unobstructed by trees, power lines, and not leaning against buildings or fences. Yard waste and trash needs to be separated by 4 feet and vehicles should not block or park in front of the yard waste.

“We will take action to ensure that the community is completely made aware of the changes,” said Andre Price, Department of Solid Waste Supervisor. “We will host neighborhood informational sessions, provide the first free paper bags, and place door hangers on residences around the city. To be clear, this is not a requirement, but we are asking for residents’ participation to help the city process this waste in a cleaner and greener fashion.”

The Department of Solid Waste intends to explain the voluntary changes and answer any questions at scheduled informational sessions on the following dates:

August 18 at LaSalle Squared, 3701 Prast Boulevard
August 25 at Broadway Christen Parish, UMC 1412 Carroll Street
September 8 at Greenhouse Community Garden, 2105 W. Mishawaka Avenue

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