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As of this month, curbside recycling in Springdale happens twice as often and accepts more materials, thanks to the city’s new residential waste and recycling collection contract.

CARDS Recycling, a relatively new hauler that’s based in Springdale, took over the city’s residential services from WM on Dec. 1.

It was the first time the city had considered changing contractors in three decades and brought several notable changes. Recycling is picked up every week, the same as regular trash, rather than every other week in the previous contract. Uniquely in Northwest Arkansas, the list of recyclables is also a little longer, adding cartons and plastic containers marked #5, such as yogurt cups (other local programs take only #1 and #2 plastic bottles and jugs).

For clarity, here’s the list of things Springdale curbside customers should put in their recycling carts:

  • Aluminum and steel (“tin”) cans.
  • Plastic containers marked #1, #2 or #5.
  • Paper, cardboard and cartons.

As always, be sure to throw these into the carts loose and unbagged, and only when they’re empty and relatively clean. They don’t need to be spotless, but there shouldn’t be any leftover food or other substances inside. And for those outside of Springdale’s residential service footprint, check with your particular program for the right materials.

Springdale joins a growing list of communities served by CARDS, which also picks up waste and recycling in Cave Springs, Elkins and Sulphur Springs. The hauler recently opened a transfer station in the city and is in the process of building a recycling processing center there.

The new contract is a great example of several NWA Recycles recommendations for good municipal contracts as well.

For example, the city will receive detailed data from CARDS about recycling collections and participation, which is essential for setting goals and measuring progress over time. And CARDS is required to provide public outreach and education materials to all customers, something often lacking in the region.

We applaud Springdale’s work and thank Mayor Doug Sprouse and other city officials for including NWA Recycles in the bidding process earlier this year. This is a significant step toward a better recycling system in Northwest Arkansas.