In Indianapolis, only 7 percent of waste is recycled, according to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. Allyson Mitchell, executive director of the Indiana Recycling Coalition, noted that recycling is no longer considered a service for the best cities. Biweekly recycling on sidewalks in Indianapolis takes into account the convenience of city residents in accepting plastic bags. Indiana's recycling rate increased to 17 percent, even without a comprehensive program in the state's largest city.
To become a world-class city, Indianapolis must have a universal recycling program. Many cities that adopted recycling achieved recycling rates of 40 percent or more by charging residents more for throwing away trash and less for recycling. Check with your local recycling center for recycling options for burnt out bulbs, or take them to a retail store in your area that offers bulb recycling. In the early 1990s, the Indiana legislature adopted radical changes in the way solid waste is managed, leading to an explosion of recycling programs everywhere except Marion County.
Compostable plastics are not intended for recycling and can contaminate and disrupt the recycling flow if mixed with non-compostable plastics. Some cities charge more than Indianapolis for providing their recycling and waste disposal services. The most common items recycled in Indianapolis include plastic bags, burnt out bulbs, compostable plastics, and non-compostable plastics. To maximize the amount of waste recycled in Indianapolis, residents should be aware of what items can be recycled and take advantage of local programs that offer incentives for doing so.
By understanding what can and cannot be recycled, Indianapolis can become a world-class city with a high rate of waste diversion.