A Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio study of the materials going into the county landfill shows more than three-quarters could be recycled or composted.


This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. I don't know about you, but I've been really confused lately about how and what I should be recycling. And I'm confused about what happens to my recycling after it's carted away. I'm referring to plastics and paper as well as electronics, including old phones and computers. We used to ship a lot of our waste to China for recycling. But recently, China stopped taking it. Now what? What are governments doing and what is industry doing to deal with the problem of waste?

When curbside recycling caught on in the 1970s, it was mostly about cans, glass, cardboard and paper. That's how Donald Sanderson remembers it.

Sanderson is 90 years old, an earnest man with a ready smile. Every Thursday in Woodbury, N.J., where he lives, he hauls a big blue recycling bin out to the curb. Recycling is close to his heart. "I guess you could say I'm the father of recycling," he says. "I don't know if that's good or bad."

Central Ohio's recycling rate is now 49 percent, according to newly-released figures from the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio. 

Five more Franklin County municipalities are rolling out curbside recycling carts through a partnership with the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio.

WCBE files

Recycling rates in Franklin County have reached an all-time high. 

A study commissioned by the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio shows the region's recycling industry created thousands of jobs and generated more than one billion dollars in annual revenue.  

It will cost Columbus taxpayers more to dump their trash and collect their recyclables this year. 

Columbus is at the halfway point of its new household recycling initiative.