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Home > Leadership > Mayor > Archived Press Releases > 2016 Archives > Rich Products Supports The Opportunity Pledge > First Anniversary of Buffalos 34andMore Recycling Initiative

First Anniversary of Buffalos 34andMore Recycling Initiative

City’s curbside recycling rate rises 2.9 percent, to 25.7 percent

April 22, 2016 – As Buffalo and the rest of our nation officially observe Earth Day, today Buffalo is also celebrating the First Anniversary of our 34and MORE recycling initiative. A year ago today, Mayor Byron W. Brown unveiled an ambitious program with the goal of diverting 34 percent of solid waste from the landfill stream by 2017, through recycling, reuse, enhanced yard waste collection and a vibrant educational outreach component.

“Today I can tell you the 34andMore effort is working. In 2015, we achieved a 25.7 percent diversion rate, which is a 2.9 percent increase over 2014.  As I said in my State of the City Address, we will be building on that success in 2016 with a new incentive program to be unveiled in our 2016-17 City Budget. As we continue to educate our residents about all they can do to reduce what ends up in landfills, I am confident 34andMore is attainable,” Mayor Brown said.

Since its inception in 2015, the 34andMORE campaign has resulted in numerous positive results:

  • Residents recycled over 29 million pounds of recyclables in the City’s curbside single stream green recycling totes – the highest amount ever!
  • The City expanded operations at its Drop-Off Recycling location, at 1120 Seneca St., allowing residents to recycling electronic waste, yard waste, and appliances, five days a week, and the first Saturday of each month.
  • Under Mayor Brown’s leadership, the Western New York Coalition for Donated Goods was formed to encourage clothing recycling with nonprofit organizations. This initiative was one of the first in New York State!
  • The City of Buffalo Streets and Sanitation Departments expanded its yard waste compost collection from two weeks, to eight weeks, leading to a 40 percent increase in yard waste composting!
  • The City doubled its Hazardous Waste Collection program to two collections per year.
  • The City worked with Buffalo Public Schools to ensure all schools have recycling programs, while providing classroom programing on recycling to over 20 classrooms.
  • Recycling took place at 229 Special Events in Buffalo in 2015, with “Recycling Rangers” manning informational tables at several of the largest gatherings.
  • The City reached out to over 6,000 households through neighborhood Block Clubs and 30 “Clean Sweep” events.
  • The City Clerk’s Office distributed 34andMORE door hangers to more than 10,000 households, and 70,000 of the informational cards were sent out with water bills.
  • We staged a record number of waste reduction events, including: Community Paper Shredding, Household Hazardous Waste Drop-offs, Saturday E-Waste Collections, Post-holiday Christmas tree, holiday lights, E-Waste collections, and Clothing/Textile Collection Days.

“It’s inspiring to look back over what we’ve accomplished via 34andMORE so far, but we know getting to 34 percent will take hard work on the part of the City and involvement of all our residents.  On this Earth Day, it’s the perfect time to review your personal recycling practices and find ways to reduce your personal impact on our environment,” the Mayor said.

The 34andMORE update was held at Hyatt’s All Things Creative, located at 910 Main Street.

A mainstay for art supplies in Buffalo for over 50 years, Hyatt’s is one of more than 20 city merchants providing space in their storefronts for the “Green City Window” project.

This work of art, like all of the others which will be on display through May 6, is made entirely from “upcycled” materials.  The Hyatt’s window was designed and created by the students of Elmwood Village Charter School and is entitled “Garden of Earthly Delights.”  All 350 students of the school have been working since January to weave together a mix of cardboard, plastic bags and table clothes, and yarn scraps to create this work of art.

The also got a helping hand from Buffalo Lab, which added LED lighting to their recycled masterpiece.

Kelly Atkinson, founder of Buffalo’s Green City Window project, has coordinated all the artists and merchants who are taking part in this project which demonstrates the beauty and functionality of materials and objects which might otherwise be headed to a landfill.

Tomorrow, April 23rd, the City is sponsoring an Earth Day/34andMORE celebration at Cazenovia Park, from 9 a.m. to Noon, Events will include Community Shredding of household/personal documents, Composting demonstration, and WNY Coalition for Donated Goods Clothing/Shoe recycling drop-off.

Justin Booth and GObike Buffalo will also be there to collect bicycles and bikes parts. All bicycles donated will be used in GObike’s school based Recycle-A-Bicycle program and community workshop where people of all ages learn to build and fix their own bicycles. These bikes have a positive impact on personal and community health, reduce the amount of used bicycles entering the waste stream, curtail car emissions, and circulate hundreds of bicycles back into the community for those in need.

Also tomorrow, the Republic Services Recycling Materials Facility, located at 2299 Kenmore Avenue, will hold an open house from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. City residents are encouraged to see where the recycling goes after it is collected at the curb. 

For more information on 34andMore visit the City’s