Selling Recycling to Pueblo

The City has the advantage of increasing recycling while not actually paying for the bins or disposal fees. The three-part connected containers accept paper products, like newspaper, and bottles including plastic, glass and aluminum. The trash bin, labeled as “Landfill,” offers an educational opportunity by reminding people where their garbage ends up if it’s not recycled. The recycling bins show tourists and residents that our city cares about recycling enough to offer options for pedestrians.

The City even gets a kickback from the recycling materials sold. From March to October 2011, a profit of around $150 was given to the City from recycling bottles, cans and paper recycling. The funds go into the General Fund for the City of Pueblo.

Creative Outdoor Advertising (COA) is a national company out of Jupiter, Florida, yet firmly believes in supporting local economies. Advertising sales representatives and maintenance workers are hired locally. Recycling and trash pick-ups are contracted to a Pueblo company, WeRecycle. COA works closely with the City Manager’s Office.

COA and Deputy City Manager, Jenny Eickelman, evaluated the bin locations for pedestrian access and visibility. Remember, COA is not a recycling company; it’s an advertising business. Understandably, the company needs to sell ads to pay for the disposal costs. Recycling is just a benefit. Many people have asked why the Riverwalk, our most visited tourist spot, does not host any recycling amenities.

According to Eickelman, the City would consider working with the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk Project in the future, but wanted the first set of bins to go elsewhere. When advertising picks up on the existing locations, more bins can be installed, says Eickelman. The City of Pueblo will be working with the Streetscape Committee to choose locations and possibly coordinate colors with certain areas of town.

According to Kami Baumberger, Sales Representative from Creative Outdoor Advertising, ad sells have been slow but steadily increasing. Businesses, schools and non-profits must sign a 12-month advertising contract at $89 per month. Businesses have the perception that advertising on the stylish bins might be too expensive. Their hesitation eases after realizing a year contract would be less than $1000. A 12-month contract may seem long in advertising-land; however, says Baumberger, businesses should look at bin advertising as creating a landmark in the city. Residents will remember they saw Joe’s Auto Shop listed on a Main St. bin and go back to that bin as a reference.

Unfortunately, the bins are not meant to be a drop off for large quantities and cannot handle the capacity from households and businesses. The first few months of public use generated many bags and boxes of recycling from households left at bin sites. After public education by the City, illegal dumping has been reduced to almost nil. All in all, everyone involved sees pedestrian recycling bins as a positive step for our city.

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