trash

Nick Evans / WOSU

It’s been six years since Columbus started offering free curb-side recycling. The program proved popular, but it’s only available to people who live in buildings with four or fewer units. That’s a big problem for student housing near The Ohio State University, a school that prides itself on zero waste.

Hilltop activist Lisa Boggs.
Nick Evans

Columbus officials say dirty streets are providing cover for rising crime, and are launching a new initiative to combat illegal dumping.

Sam Hendren / WOSU

A study of Central Ohio’s recycling industry, commissioned by a local waste management company, shows it's created thousands of jobs and generated more than a billion dollars in annual revenue. 

Since April, a Hamilton County Sheriff's deputy has been working a unique beat. Caroline Kotlas is one of just a handful of environmental crimes investigators in the state, and is the only one locally. Her job is to find out who is polluting the area, and bring them to justice.

Scoot over, cans; cartons are moving in on your shelf space. Specifically, the soft, light rectangular containers commonly associated with juice boxes — "aseptic cartons" to the carton literati.

"They're growing in popularity," says Jason Pelz, vice president of recycling projects for the Carton Council, an industry group. "Broth is predominantly in aseptic packaging now, and you see a lot of coconut water in it."

Sam Hendren / WOSU

China is enforcing a new policy that bans imports of 24 types of solid waste, including recyclable materials. While that has many in the United States worried, the local recycling industry says these new rules should not hurt Central Ohio.