Thursday, April 22, 2021

Westland reports success with educational outreach program

Westland has experienced a massive reduction of contaminated recycling loads following education efforts in the city.

Mayor William R. Wild said the increased recycling quality is due to the comprehensive efforts to educate residents about the correct items that qualify for the recycling bins.

“As part of the city's strategy to improve recycling quality, the City of Westland has also established an interactive map which will allow the sanitation department to identify the routes of contaminated loads in order to identify which neighborhoods may require additional outreach,” commented Wild.

Westland was among the first communities in the area to begin a municipal recycling program which had to be suspended in 2019, due to increased processing costs.  

The popular residential program was reinstated last July but during the early months, the number of contaminated loads became a costly issue. The city, like others recycling customers, pays a penalty plus additional disposal fees for loads that are contaminated with food or other, non-recyclable items. 

In September, a high of 56 percent of Westland 51 loads were rejected as contaminated and non-recyclable. 

In November of 2020, the city launched a comprehensive education initiative which included informational packets hand-delivered to all residential households, the use of social media, water bill inserts, and promotions on the city cable station.  

Since these citywide educational efforts, Westland has seen a significant drop in the percentage of contaminated loads to 9 percent or less in the last three months, officials said. 

Since inception in 2009, the Westland curbside recycling program has resulted in 100,000,000 pounds of processed recycling. For more information on the city recycling program, visit

Residents can also visit to further educate themselves about the acceptable items that can be safely and productively recycled.