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Study shows Ann Arbor residents getting better at recycling

Ann Arbor recycling bin
Recycle Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor recycling bin

The results of a recycling inspection program in Ann Arbor are in. They show residents are making progress but still have some work to do to keep contaminants out of recycling containers.

The "Feet on the Street" program this summer started with a pre-measurement analysis. Then. in July and August, inspectors went through residents’ recycling bins, tagging the contaminated items.

Robert Kellar is the Communications Specialist for Ann Arbor’s public services. He says the results showed a 20 percent overall reduction in recycling contaminants, which is said was very good. But, at the same time, it also allowed them to find some consistent items that are still contaminating the recycling stream.

"The three things we want to continue to focus on: plastic bags, material in plastic bags, and scrap metal."

The goal, Kellar says, is to keep the city’s recycling stream as market-friendly as possible.

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Cathy Shafran was WEMU's afternoon news anchor and local host during WEMU's broadcast of NPR's All Things Considered.
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