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Staff from the St. Croix County recycling program recently obtained collection data from the state Department of Natural Resources for all of Wisconsin’s nearly 1,060 municipal recycling programs.
The state breaks recycling programs into seven categories based on population range. The department refers to these as orders and breaks them down as follows: 1) < 2,000, 2) 2,001 – 5,000, 3) 5,001 – 10,000, 4) 10,001 – 25,000, 5) 25,001 – 50,000, 6) 50,001 – 100,000 and 7) > 100,000.
St. Croix County falls into order 6 with an official recycling population of 75,268. The official recycling population is less than the county’s actual population because some communities are independent of the county program, and the City of River Falls in its entirety is considered part of the Pierce County recycling program.
In 2013, county residents recycled at a household rate of 123.1 per person. This is 5.4% higher than the 116.8 pounds per person that was true for the county’s peer group. These data are based on the collection of paper, glass, metal and plastic, and exclude other types of recycling such as motor oil, batteries, appliances and electronics.
According to Jon Tulman and Megen Hines, St. Croix County Recycling Specialists, these data document that the program is running effectively. “It is especially impressive,” said Tulman, “when you consider that there were two stretches, covering several months, during 2013 when the county’s recycling specialist position was vacant.”
Hines said that since special collections in 2014 for appliances and hazardous waste showed significant increases from previous years, staff is hopeful that overall household recycling will also show gains during the past year.