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Metro Newsroom

Trash Bins To Become Recycling Bins in City Offices

Monday July 9, 2012

Saying he wants to make Louisville among the most environmentally-friendly city governments in the nation, Mayor Greg Fischer today signed an executive order which will convert most city office trash cans into recycling bins.

The new program means that government employees’ current individual office trash cans will be used solely for recyclable materials, including office paper, newspapers, drink bottles, and file folders. Actual garbage — such as food scraps, coffee grounds or ink pens — will be deposited into a designated community garbage bin on each floor or break area.

The program will officially kick-off Monday, July 16th in two Metro buildings---the Metro Development Center, 444 S. 5th Street, and Metro Hall, including the Mayor’s own office, 527 W. Jefferson Street.

By year’s end nearly all city government buildings will join in the program, with assistance from the Office of Sustainability. Related agencies which use Metro Government buildings, such as the County Attorney and PVA, will also participate.

“One of our goals is to make Louisville a greener city and this recycling program shows our commitment to leading by example. It will drastically reduce Metro Government’s contribution to the landfill,” Fischer said. “I hope we will inspire others to take action within their own businesses and organizations. Let’s see what kind of impact we can have to make Louisville a greener and more sustainable city.”

The new program will not cost Metro Government, but is expected to save taxpayer dollars by keeping recyclables out of the landfill. The city must pay to take trash to the landfill, but it sells recycling and makes money.

“Our goal is to make city government greener – and achieving that vision involves both intricate and simple steps,” said Maria Koetter, Director of Sustainability. “Today’s announcement is an example of an easy – but important – program that will transform our trash and recycling management processes.”

This is the second recycling initiative announced by Fischer in recent weeks. The city is also purchasing 95-gallon recycling bins for two garbage/recycling routes as a pilot project to determine if families will recycle greater quantities with larger bins.

Metro Public Works will measure and monitor recycling volumes at each building to establish a baseline and track the progress of the single-stream recycling program.

For more information, including frequently asked questions about the program, visit the Office of Sustainability at