Each year since 2006, Hamilton County R3Source has selected a community to help it improve its recycling and waste reduction efforts. The Target Community program is a two-year process that takes a holistic approach to improving community waste diversion percentages. The project is never the same from one community to the next. From infrastructure improvements to educational needs and community involvement, Hamilton County R3Source works with local governments, businesses, schools, and community groups to develop different strategies that will best serve the community.
For more information about Target Communities or if your community is interested in becoming a Target Community, please email Gage Bradford.
North College Hill
Congratulations to the City of North College Hill for being selected as our newest Target Community. Work is underway now to identify specific waste reduction and recycling goals for the city. Those plans will be shared here once finalized.
The City of Reading has made steady progress throughout the first year of being a target community. In early 2022, City Council voted unanimously to move to contracted recycling, allowing every household in city limits to have curbside pick-up of recyclables.
R3Source staff has met with different community groups representing city government, churches, the chamber of commerce, schools, and more in efforts to reach as many residents as possible. Other first year victories include bringing recycling infrastructure to the park system, purchase of pop-up recycling containers for large community events such as Taste of Reading, and outfitting the new Cincinnati Classical Academy school with all their recycling infrastructure needs to be ready for the first day of class this fall.
Village of Fairfax
In 2019, Hamilton County R3Source worked with the Village of Fairfax to reduce recycling contamination. After completing a preliminary audit of households in the area, Hamilton County R3Source used targeted outreach measures to teach residents about contamination. These included mailers, billboards, and in-person education. The main contaminant spotlighted in outreach was bagged recyclables (recyclables in a plastic bag).
To measure the success of the outreach, Hamilton County R3Source performed a pre and post-cart audit of Fairfax's households. To conduct the audit, Hamilton County R3Source staff walked selected streets and inspected all homes with recycling carts at the curb. After educational outreach, Hamilton County R3Source measured a 7% decrease in overall contamination and a 42% decrease in bagged recyclables. Read the full Village of Fairfax Outreach Report (PDF).
Lincoln Heights & Arlington Heights
In 2017 and 2018, R3SOURCE worked with the villages of Lincoln Heights and Arlington Heights to improve recycling participation and decrease waste. Although work with target communities is ongoing, results from 2017 outreach show these two communities have drastically improved recycling already.
Lincoln Heights began offering residents curbside recycling service in 2017. Hamilton County R3Source worked with Lincoln Heights community volunteers (see left) to canvas the neighborhood and increase recycling participation. R3SOURCE's goal was to increase tons recycled by 25%. Between 2016 and 2017 Lincoln Heights increased curbside and drop-off recycling by 886%! Read the full Lincoln Heights Outreach Report (PDF).
Arlington Heights has a subscription-based curbside recycling program. Hamilton County R3Source worked with Arlington Heights to install a recycling drop-off to give residents access to free recycling. Arlington Heights residents received a mailer promoting the new drop-off and what items can and cannot be recycled. Hamilton County R3Source's goal was to double the tons recycled within one year. Arlington Heights experienced a 344% increase in tons recycled between 2016 and 2017. Read the full Arlington Heights Outreach Report (PDF).