More recyclers added to NWA recycling report

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 416 views 

NWA Recycles, a program of Springdale nonprofit Northwest Arkansas Council, recently released the second report on the region’s recycling efforts, showing the region handled more than 45,000 tons of recyclables in 2022.

Dan Holtmeyer, recycling program manager for the Northwest Arkansas Council, said the 2023 Regional Recycling Report includes additional recycling facilities and better program information that bolstered the report’s recycling numbers by more than 3,500 tons from 2021.

Together, 23 programs in three counties and 19 cities handled more than 45,328 tons of material in 2022, up from 41,705 tons in 2021. The 2023 report included more facilities, such as Madison County Solid Waste & Recycling Center in Huntsville.

For a PDF of the 24-page annual report, click here.

“Besides the straight numbers and data, there are updates on recycling businesses and initiatives around the area,” Holtmeyer said. “It just gives us that up-to-date picture … the lay of the land when it comes to Northwest Arkansas.”

The recycling facilities and programs that provided data for the 2022 report provided similar information for the 2023 report. Some recycling programs handled less material while others handled more, with the differences largely offsetting each other.

He said the intent is to produce the report annually to identify trends in the data.

Holtmeyer also highlighted some achievements, including developing the recycling website, bringing together regional stakeholders to collaborate on recycling issues and hosting a recycling innovation competition.

One of the regional challenges has been to increase glass recycling. He noted that Fayetteville offers curbside glass recycling, but other cities do not. He said a solution might be to increase the drop-off sites for glass recycling, such as at liquor or grocery stores or entertainment districts.

Another challenge comprises the items that aren’t recyclable but are picked up by curbside recycling services. The report shows that the cities that sort recyclables at the curb avoid this problem, including Fayetteville, Prairie Grove and Siloam Springs. Among those that don’t sort them at the curb, about 43% of the collected items are not recyclable and end up at the landfill.