In hopes of increasing the amount its residents recycle per year by 20 percent, the city of will begin rolling out its newly approved 65-gallon recycling carts by the end of summer.
The City Council approved the new carts June 6.
City leaders hope to distribute 3,250 carts for half of the city's household population in the first year of the program. The carts may be ordered on the city’s website. The rest of the households will be issued carts in 2012.
“Each household will get one for free,” explained Michael Thomas, Lake Forest director of Public Works, adding that additional carts may be purchased for $50 per piece.
Lake Forest received a $100,000 state grant, which will be added to $60,000 set aside in the city’s capital account to finance the new recycling carts.
According to Thomas, the city will phase out current recycling bins by the second year, despite a survey of Lake Forest residents which indicated that just less than half of its respondents preferred to keep the smaller bins.
Fifty-three percent of residents said they wanted the new carts, while 47 percent responded that they did not.
Some reasons stated by residents who did not want the larger carts were curbside aesthetics, lack of room for the larger carts in their garages, and empty nesters who didn’t produce 65 gallons of recyclable material in a week.
“I want to stress that they don’t have to put that cart out every week,” said Thomas.
Thomas added that in municipalities where residents had similar reservations before larger carts were issued, most developed a favorable view of the program after receiving the new carts.
To better educate residents about the new recycling program, Lake Forest will roll out a public relations campaign over the summer. Officials encourage residents to contact the Public Works Department should they have any questions or concerns about the program.
Once all of the new recycling carts are rolled out to residents, they can turn in their old recycling bin to the city, although they also may keep the bins to use for storage if they choose to. The city will recycle all of the old bins.
For more information on Lake Forest’s new recycling cart program, or to order a cart, visit the city’s website at www.cityoflakeforest.com.