National Grant Brings New Recycling Bins To Salisbury

SALISBURY – The City of Salisbury has received a national grant to establish a public space recycling initiative using 30 new portable recycling bins.

Last Thursday, Mayor Jake Day announced the City of Salisbury had received a grant award from the Coca-Cola Foundation and the Keep America Beautiful Public Space Recycling Grant program to develop a public space recycling initiative during city events.

Day said the city was one of 700 grant applicants and one of five recipients nationwide.

The grant comes in the form of 30 recycling bins, which will form the backbone for zero-waste activities at the National Folk Festival, the Salisbury Marathon and other local events.

Currently, the city is using repurposed storage barrels for event recycling bins. Despite the city’s efforts to outfit the barrels with recycle markings, Day said the 55-gallon drums are often unrecognizable to event-goers.

“It’s very difficult for an average person at a crowded event to see what it is,” he said.

As a result, the bins are often mistaken for trash cans, making them counter-productive to the city’s recycling efforts.

“You end up hurting your recycling program by having poorly designed infrastructure,” Day said.

To that end, Day said the city applied to receive new portable recycling bins through the grant application late last year.

Day said the new bins will be placed in areas such as the Riverwalk and downtown Salisbury during events and will be more easily recognizable to event-goers. Event waste areas will be heavily signed with trash, recycling and composting labels to help attendees understand where materials belongs.

For large city events, volunteers will staff every waste and recycling location to help community members understand what can and cannot be recycled. The city will use this same plan at a smaller scale for other events throughout the year, such as 3rd Friday, 1st Saturday, and the Downtown Salisbury Festival.

Day said the public space recycling initiative is one of several efforts being made by the city to reduce waste and develop sustainable practices.

In addition to offering a curbside recycling program, Day said the city will also apply for a grant that will provide low-income neighborhoods with compost bins.

“We are looking overall to reduce our contribution to the landfill and increase our recycling efforts,” he said.

Day said he is pleased the city received the national grant.

“Anytime we can replace tax revenue with grant funding and outside support, we are pleased,” he said, “but we are also pleased it will help to treat our environment with respect and contribute to our efforts to be a greener city that is more respective for the Wicomico River and Chesapeake Bay.”

In a statement released last week, Day applauded the grant.

“It is our mission to make recycling as easy as possible at every opportunity, whether that’s curbside or at city events,” he said. “The bins we’re receiving through this grant will not only improve how we manage recyclable materials at gatherings, but they will also be integral in helping us make the National Folk Festival a zero-waste event during its 3-year residency in Salisbury. I’m grateful for the grant from the Coca-Cola Foundation and Keep America Beautiful, and I’m thankful for our staff who pursued it. Two key components to our becoming one of America’s great small cities will be our ability to recognize opportunity and being able to build partnerships between the city and business, and this grant award represents both of those things.”

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.