Buffalo, NY – Mayor Byron W. Brown today kicked off Earth Month 2019 by announcing the City’s 34andMore recycling rate increased to 29.3 percent in 2018, nearly double the 15.9 percent rate when the city switched to single stream curbside recycling in 2012.
The 2018 recycling rate of 29.3 percent was also an improvement over the 28.3 percent rate in 2017. Also in 2018, a total of 16,950 tons of recyclable materials were collected, an increase of 346 tons over 2017.
“We’ve come a long way since my administration switched to single stream recycling in 2012, nearly doubling overall recycling rates to 29.3 percent. While that’s a tremendous improvement, we all need to work harder to fill those green totes to reach our goal of diverting 34 percent or more of our solid waste from the landfill stream,” Mayor Brown said.
Susan Attridge, City Director of Refuse and Recycling, said the 34andMore recycling initiative, which is marking its 4th anniversary, has grown each year in an effort to educate and motivate more Buffalo residents about the benefits of curbside, as well as other recycling efforts.
“From our Let’s Do This! Block Club Recycling Competition and Environmental Champions Program for Buffalo Public Schools students, to free community document shredding and household hazardous waste drop-offs, every year we work to expand and increase the ways we engage residents in our city-wide recycling efforts,” Attridge said.
Last summer, the City formed a partnership with the Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP) for a Food Scraps Recycling Pilot Program, where residents could drop off leftover vegetables, fruits, coffee ground, tea bags, egg and nut shells and dried or fresh flowers at MAP for use as garden compost.
In 2019, the City will be expanding the Food Waste Scrap Drop off to five locations throughout the City in partnership with MAP’s mobile markets. The City will establish pickup service at the soon-to-be-announced locations and supply residents with free collection buckets for their kitchens to expand efforts to divert food scraps from landfills.
Food waste collection is collected separately, and either composted or sent to a digester to create energy through our partnership with Natural Upcycling.
The Buffalo Sewer Authority is entering the fourth year of its “Rain Check” storm water management program. “Rain Check” is part of Buffalo’s 20-year goal to manage the rain and snow runoff. We have already surpassed the halfway mark of eventually keeping 1.2 billion gallons of water from flowing off of at least 1,300 acres of land and into our sewer system.
The City is also continuing to expand its “lot greening” efforts on vacant lots where homes have been demolished. To date, 221 lots across the city have been hydro-seeded to create green lawns that stymie water runoff, while also giving neighborhoods a fresh, neat appearance,” said Buffalo Water Board Chairman Oluwole A. “OJ” McFoy.
Mayor Brown also announced a calendar of environmental events and activities which will take place across the City of Buffalo throughout the month of April, not just on April 22nd.
“Throughout April we will be marking the importance of our natural resources to our environment and economy. I’m proud of my Administration’s efforts to make Buffalo a cleaner, greener and more sustainable city,” Mayor Byron Brown said. “I encourage city residents to participate in any one of the activities the City of Buffalo has planned this year.”