Struggles for Buffalo recycling program

Struggles for Buffalo recycling program

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Buffalo has an anemic recycling rate because officials in the Western New York city allegedly don't enforce laws, fail to educate the public and ignore recommendations, according to an investigation by a locally-based, nonprofit organization.

InvestigativePost has found that although Buffalo raised its recycling rate to 16 percent with a single-stream recycling service, the city's efforts are still below that of other cities and faltering. According to the report, the 16 percent level is its peak level and typically is in the range of 12 to 16 percent. As a result, taxpayers are missing out on more than $1 million in potential savings.

The report found that the city isn't enforcing requirements that business and property owners use recycling services, and Buffalo's local law doesn't fully comply with state requirements. Additionally, the city hasn't replaced its full-time recycling coordinator position, which has been vacant since 2009. Also, officials have ignored recommendations from its auditor, which has pointed out that officials have mismanaged recycling education funds and failed to take steps to improve recycling. Buffalo has also ignored outside recommendations, according to the report.

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