Top honors for county recycling program

Pierce County Solid Waste Division has been named a winner in the National Association of Counties Achievement Award Program, which recognizes efforts of counties to promote responsible, responsive and effective government. The division was cited for its Single Cart Recycling Program, which replaced the three-bin system a year ago.

“Solid Waste Administrator Steve Wamback and his team are to be commended for the highly successful implementation of this new program,” said County Executive John W. Ladenburg. “Converting 135,000 households from a system that had been in effect 14 years was no easy task.”

Single Cart program accomplishments included:

— 64 percent increase in residential recycling;

— Participation rate increased to 93 percent;

— Paper and cardboard recycling increased 83 percent;

— Households recycled monthly average of 44.5 pounds.

Wamback attributed the positive results to the new program’s ease of use. “The freedom from sorting and the addition of plastics seem to be a winning combination,” he said.

The Solid Waste Division staff and the private sector haulers and recyclers worked two years to design and implement the Single Cart system. “This partnership is to be commended for putting together such a workable system for the public benefit,” Wamback said.

Achievement awards will be presented during NACo’s 71st Annual Conference Aug. 6 in Chicago.