The French Quarter in New Orleans has resumed curbside recycling service after a nine year absence because of Hurricane Katrina, according to the Times-Picayune.
Launched in 1995, curbside recycling in New Orleans was initially a success story. The city achieved an 80 percent participation rate and charged just a $1 monthly fee for curbside access. But then Hurricane Katrina struck and destroyed much of the city, including an Allied Waste processing plant for recyclables in East New Orleans. Without a place to take materials, the city shut down curbside recycling service.
Several private businesses stepped up to fill the void, including Phoenix Recycling. Phoenix Recycling still serves a crucial role in the city’s recycling process, as it partners with restaurants and bars to recycle glass bottles. Glass is not accepted in the relaunched New Orleans recycling program.
Residents of Orleans Parish can sign up for weekly curbside recycling service by calling 311. Those in the French Quarter and Downtown Development District can receive a free 18-gallon bin for recyclables, whereas other residents are eligible for a 64-gallon recycling cart.
For those curious, the largest U.S. city without citywide curbside recycling is Detroit, which currently only offers a pilot program for certain neighborhoods.