Sioux Falls making strides with recycle programs - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Sioux Falls making strides with recycle programs

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The City of Sioux Falls announced today that it's a recycling leader matching 'green' cities across the nation. Of course, those efforts start with all of us at home and at work.

Something as simple as separating bottles, cans and paper from the trash can for the recycle bin has made a huge difference in Sioux Falls. We met one woman who uses not just one, but two large recycling bins for her family of three.

At Evita Constant's home, recycling isn't just another chore, it's a priority.

"We are filling up our bin every week and would have extra overflow so we got two. We recycle as much as possible. Everything," Evita Constant said. 

Everything they recycle is sent right down the laundry shoot from the second floor to the basement.

"I didn't want to have an extra bin in our kitchen. It fit in our old kitchen but here it wouldn't work," she said. 

From any floor in the house they recycle just about anything they need to. 

"[We recycle] plastic, that's what everything comes in. Aluminum cans, cardboard, the newspaper... We need to save our planet. Making plastic which doesn't biodegrade, we need to be able to reuse it."

She's pleased the city has come a long way with its recycling efforts. Being as easy as it is, she hopes this trend keeps up. 

"It's great here. We can recycle everything. We can throw everything in the same bin and don't have to separate into little categories," Evita said. "It's so easy. Just separate it when you throw it away. If it's garbage, one place. If it's recycling, another."

The city of Sioux Falls announced Wednesday that residential garbage haulers have collectively surpassed the city's 2013 recycling rate goal of 21.1%. 

Recycling rates are calculated by dividing the total amount of recyclables (including yard waste) by the total amount of material hauled. By City ordinance, all commercial waste haulers are required annually to achieve the standard of at least 80%of the recycling goal, which in 2013 was 17.1%, or receive a surcharge. Haulers with a recycling rate of 32.1 percent or more receive a rebate. The new 2014 residential garbage hauler recycling goal is 21.8%.

Two new tracking mechanisms now are used to highlight the region's waste minimization efforts, making it easier to compare Sioux Falls to other communities across the country.

·   Sioux Falls' 2013 regional municipal solid waste recycling rate was 43%. The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates the national recycling rate to be 35%. 

·   Sioux Falls' 2013 regional landfill waste diversion rate was 78%. This means that the City diverted 78% of its waste away from landfills and into compost or recycling programs in 2013. San Francisco, California, achieved a diversion rate of 80 percent.

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