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Cedar Rapids Asking Apartment Dwellers to 'Recycle More'

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Cedar Rapids trash is choked with recyclables. The numbers are large enough that city leaders have concerns. Officials do regular studies on the garbage they collect and have found an estimated 50 to 60 percent of area trash can be recycled.

So how do you make a change? The city thinks the key might be getting those in apartments to recycle more.

If you're a Linn County apartment dweller like Lane Clasen you probably don't have any recycling options at your home. No bins, no curbside pickup. So what could be reused goes to waste.

"You just throw everything in the trash," said Clasen.

Waste officials with the city said there are thousands like Clasen, filling up landfills for one big reason. "Well, we hear from people who want to recycle in apartments and they just don't know the options," said Megan Murphy with Cedar Rapids Utilities Communications.

Murphy is working with a number of other groups to create a new informational campaign called Recycle More Linn County. It's tailored to specifically target apartment dwellers. Starting next Monday and running to September volunteers will be going door to door to different complexes to tell people where and when they can recycle at any of the three centers in the area; City Carton Recycling at 901 Ingleside Dr. SW; Solid Waste Agency at 2250 A St. SW in Cedar Rapids; Solid Waste Agency at 1954 County Home Rd. in Marion.

"They're going to give people information, telling them 'Hey here's what you can recycle. Here's how easy it is. And here's where you can go'," said Joe Horaney, with Solid Waste Agency.

There's even more information on the Recycle More website: There, you can find where to take some of those unique recyclables like electronics or automotive fluids.

People will still have to make the effort to actually head to recycle centers. But, the hope is if they know how close these sites are, they will. "Where ever you live within Linn County there's probably some place that's a real close drive, maybe even a walk from where you live," said Horaney.

Officials are hopping the "Recycle More" campaign will increase recycling in Linn County by at least seven percent.

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