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Buffalo aims to boost recycling rate to match national average

Buffalo is launching a major campaign to increase recycling in the city.

The “34 and more” campaign is aimed at increasing recycling in Buffalo to above the 34 percent national average.

The $50,000 campaign is part of a recycling marketing plan put together by Block Club Inc., a local marketing company working for the city.

It’s designed to double Buffalo’s recycling rate in coming years, Mayor Byron W. Brown said in unveiling the campaign Wednesday.

Buffalo’s overall residential recycling rate increased from about 11 percent in 2011 to almost 23 percent in 2014, said Susan Attridge, the city’s recycling director.

Curbside recycling increased, Attridge said, after the city in 2012 provided green recycling totes to residents, replacing blue bins.

In 2014, curbside recycling increased to 14,668 tons from 12,737 tons in 2012.

The campaign will focus on ensuring all residential properties have totes, encouraging businesses to enact workplace recycling, beefing up recycling awareness in schools and other city-owned buildings and expanding outreach to local community groups.

Recycling has helped the city maintain its garbage fee at the current level, Brown said. If recycling increases, the city may be able to reduce the fee, he said.

Buffalo had 115,490 tons of trash and garbage in 2014, versus 34,093 tons in total recyclables. That’s 77 percent trash and garbage, 23 percent recycling.