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Resident-Driven Recycling Program Partners with Cincinnati Recycling & Reuse Hub to Reduce Waste

Posted on April 10, 2023 in In The News

A group of residents at Ohio Living Llanfair partnered with The Cincinnati Recycling & Reuse Hub to repurpose hard-to-recycle items as part of its thriving recycling program.

At the peak of COVID-19, Ohio Living Llanfair transitioned from providing restaurant-style dining room service for evening meals to non-contact direct delivery to resident apartments. This shift resulted in an increased use of plastic dining ware (i.e., plates, cups, glasses, etc.) across the community, which ended up in the trash bin. To tackle this problem, a group of residents referred to as the Sustainable Living team, championed a major recycling program. It started with one independent living building and soon expanded to two buildings comprised of over 100 apartments.

The recycling program is facilitated through boxes inside a garage that are labeled with a different recycling material for sorting purposes. When the boxes are full, they are driven to The Cincinnati Recycling & Reuse Hub (“The Hub”), which accepts a wide variety of clean recyclable materials, including items that have been traditionally difficult to recycle. As of March 2023, Ohio Living Llanfair has delivered over 1,100 cubic feet of recycle and reuse materials to The Hub.

Recently, the Ohio Living Llanfair Sustainable Living team upped its ongoing recycling efforts by adding a new item to its accepted materials: the beverage tanks from machines that dispense drinks, such as orange juice, lemonade, iced tea, etc. These tanks were initially thought to be precluded from recycling because they were designed to prevent unauthorized opening. However, the group found an easy way to disassemble the tanks so they could be rinsed, dried, and most of the parts recycled.

What the residents at Ohio Living Llanfair have achieved with its recycling program can easily be duplicated at other senior living locations throughout Ohio. If their program is any indicator, hundreds of thousands of cubic feet of material can be recycled in Ohio every year, ultimately reducing the amount of material going into landfills by the same amount.