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Fort Worth willing to pay for recyclable products

Written by Star-Telegram
Published: September 20, 2013

City officials hope to convince residents that recycling can pay off — in more ways than one.

To encourage residents to be more sustainable, the city is launching two new contests with Recyclebank.

Residents can sign up for The WANTED sweepstakes, which urges them to recycle products like milk jugs, aluminum cans and magazines, said Debbie Branch, the city’s commercial recycling coordinator. The grand prize is $2,000.

“Burying things in a hole in the ground is just not a sustainable way to do things,” Branch said.

Fort Worth recycles about 23 percent of the garbage collected in the city, Branch said. Its recycle rate is under the national average of 34 percent, according to a study by the Environmental Protection Agency from 2011.

“We need to hit 30 percent. But then once we hit it, we are going to go beyond that. We are actively planning and coming up with ways to get there,” Branch said.

The city is also launching a Green-Off contest. Fort Worth families can register before Oct. 10 online. Two families will be selected at random for a six-month sustainability challenge.

The family that can make its home more sustainable, from recycling to efficient appliances, will win. Both families will receive prizes like free garbage pickup and gift cards.

Branch said all residents benefit from recycling.

“Putting stuff in the landfill, your garbage rates are going to be going up sooner rather than later. To cite and permit a new landfill is so expensive. If you recycle it, it can be sold as a commodity to be used again,” she said.

Even apartment residents will soon have the chance to recycle. A city ordinance requiring property managers with eight or more units to provide recycling is about to take effect.

Apartment managers have until Jan. 1 to begin implementing recycling programs.


Some of the items that city officials hope to persuade residents to recycle:

Cutlery, plates, paper, glass bottles, aluminum cans, ketchup bottles, pots and pans, magazines, paper books, newspapers, mirrors, soap dispensers and shampoo bottles

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