By Jason Donati—
MUNCIE, IN—The Muncie Sanitary District (MSD) is the recipient of the largest 2023 grant award from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s (IDEM) Recycling Market Development Board (RMDB). The RecyclingMarket Development Board unanimously approved and fully funded MSD’s grant proposal “Do the Blue: Without the Blue Bags” for $468,798.00. Fourteen community proposals were brought before the RMDB on October 27th for a total request of over three million dollars. The RMDB had only two million dollars available for 2023 awards and voted to fund nine of the fourteen proposals.
MSD’s proposal included a request to offset the purchase of two new 2023 LaBrie Right Hand Automizer trucks dedicated to recycling pickup in Muncie. It also consists of purchasing seven thousand 96-gallon blue recycling totersto provide a bagless single-stream recycling pickup to Muncie residents that choose to participate. The RMDB grant requires a 50% match from MSD for those purchases.
This grant will allow MSD to transition away from the blue bag recycling program that has successfully served the Muncie community since 1998. MSD has put together a Recycling Advisory Board made up of Muncie residents to implement the transition of its recycling program. Starting in the late spring of 2023, residents can opt-in to the new recycling program by signing up with MSD and agreeing to a recycling contamination reduction pledge. Once a resident signs up, they will receive a brand new 96-gallon blue toter comparable in size to their green trash toter. Once they have received their new recycling toter, they can place loose mixed recyclables, including broken-down cardboard, mixed paper, glass, plastic, tin, aluminum, and steel, to be picked up weekly on their trash day, separately by the new recycling trucks.
MSD estimates this will significantly reduce recycling contamination at the source, provide better tracking of recycling data, help increase recycling collection rates, and provide more clean recyclable material to local and surrounding domestic markets creating a circular economy and preventing such materials from going to the landfill. MSD also estimates it will eliminate an estimated six hundred thousand blue bags from entering the waste stream each year.This new recycling program will also help reduce the cardboard that is being sent to a landfill because residents cannot place all their boxes in blue bags without challenges.
Please stay tuned for more details on these changes to MSD’s recycling program, which is expected to roll out in the spring or early summer of 2023. For more information on the IDEM Recycling Market Development Program, visit www.recycle.IN.gov.