A recent audit of garbage collected in downtown Lexington shows almost half of it could have gone into the recycling bin. In response, city and non-profit agencies have launched an education campaign that targets downtown businesses. Lexington Vice Mayor Linda Gorton says they could make recycling mandatory, but Gorton wants to offer those businesses a carrot.
“We could get to where we charge people more when they throw more in the trash and that’s one way where you don’t exactly mandate, but you give an incentive to recycle. I kind of see that as maybe coming forward sooner than any kind of mandate,” said Gorton.
In downtown Lexington, the Webb Companies is a leader. The firm cut back on garbage collection and emphasized recycling. Within a year, company Vice President Doug Osborne says the move saved the developer 13 thousand dollars.
“If you can show a business that you can improve their bottom line, you’ll automatically have their interest,” said Osborne.
The city will join up with the environmental group Bluegrass PRIDE to work with businesses to increase recycling.