Indianapolis Aims for Comprehensive Recycling Program by 2026

Indianapolis, IN — The quest for a comprehensive citywide recycling program in Indianapolis continues, with the goal of achieving universal curbside recycling by 2026. However, accessibility challenges and the absence of widespread curbside recycling have made this transformation a gradual process.

Recycling Challenges

  • Drop-Off Site Closures: Last month, the free drop-off site at North Mitthoeffer Road and 38th Street closed due to illegal dumping. The last remaining downtown drop-off site also shut down late last year for the redevelopment of the Old City Hall property.
  • Limited Free Sites: Currently, there are only five free recycling sites within the I-465 loop. Outside the loop, the north side has three locations, the south side has four, the east side has one, and the west side has none.
  • Private Partnerships: Many drop-off sites exist through agreements with private property owners. Some sites have been removed due to excessive illegal dumping.

Indianapolis recycling program

Paid Services

  • Subscription Services: Residents can subscribe to recycling pickup through Republic Services or WM. The contract limits the cost to $9.75 per month in 2024, with a 25-cent annual increase. The number of monthly subscribers has grown from 29,708 in February 2019 to 34,386 in February 2024.
  • Recycling Rate: In 2019, Indianapolis recycled only 7% of its trash, highlighting the need for improved recycling infrastructure.

Looking Ahead

  • Sustainability Goals: The city’s sustainability and resilience action plan aims for carbon neutrality by 2050.
  • Delayed Timeline: Originally, the plan targeted universal residential curbside recycling and subscription curbside composting by 2025. However, new recycling services won’t begin until 2026, after existing contracts expire.

Stay tuned for announcements on additional free recycling drop-off locations in the coming months.

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