Tonight at six: Recycling programs exposed!

Tonight at six: Recycling programs exposed!

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

May 29, 2014

Over the last two weeks, a handful of municipal recycling efforts have felt the sting of investigating TV news crews and local reporters.

In New Mexico, for example, Albuquerque-based news station KRQE recently went undercover to track a Santa Fe collection truck landfilling recyclables and then blasted the city's mayor and environmental services director in a story titled "Santa Fe's Dirty Deed."

In Buffalo, New York, meanwhile, the nonprofit news site Investigative Post this week teamed with NBC affiliate WGRZ for a pair of stories: one highlighting low curbside recycling rates in Buffalo itself and another focused on a swath of the city's suburbs, "where recycling programs are largely an afterthought," according to the report.

Those "live and local" takedowns follow a recent scandal in Washington D.C. in which the Washington Post reported old recycling bins were being sent to landfills, instead of entering the recycling stream as city leaders had promised they would.

Typically, recycling coordinators work in concert with news outlets to get the word out on program updates and success stories. But clearly local media representatives aren't afraid to switch from partner to watchdog if a situation smells unsavory.

"City Hall is ... batting 0 for 4 when it comes to building a successful program," the Investigative Post and WGRZ story on Buffalo notes. "As a result, the city’s curbside recycling rate has leveled off and remains less than half the national average."


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