Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to clarify that cups collected by Cupstakrs will be composted at the city’s facility. We regret the error.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The City of Fayetteville previously set a goal to divert 40% of all waste away from landfills by 2027, but now can no longer commit to that date due to rapid growth in Northwest Arkansas. However, the city says it remains committed to reducing waste and is seeking solutions.
“We’re not really sure what that looks like for waste diversion, what key players are going to be needed, what outside players that we haven’t identified yet are going to be needed in order to reach that goal,” said Heather Ellzey, an environmental educator in Fayetteville.
Ellzey’s job is to help educate residents and businesses about the various ways someone can reduce waste, from composting to recycling.
“We have a residential food waste program, so we have six local drop-offs, including our two recycling centers where residents can collect their food waste at home,” Ellzey said. “We even have free buckets if they’d like to reach out to us.”
For businesses, the city offers a 64-gallon food waste cart that will be collected on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each week.
According to Ellzey, Fayetteville is piloting a product called Cupstakrs as a possible solution to help reduce waste. Cupstackrs designed a specialized tube that can be placed on the side of trash cans for disposable cups. The cups would then be taken from the tubes for compost. The cups are located in three bins just off the square.
Jeffro Brown and Rick Barry formed Cupstakrs.
“It’s just an easy way to dispose of a cup,” Brown said. “One of our two-foot Cupstakrs will hold as many cups or more as a standard 50-gallon trash bag.”
Brown said he hopes to help residents change their mindsets to find other ways to reduce waste in their communities.
Ellzey says a distinct difference people should understand is that the city does not recycle cups. Cups should not be thrown in recycling bins. All cups collected are BPI-certified compostable cups that are processed at the city’s compost facility.
Ellzey said it’s important people educate themselves on their community’s waste diversion efforts.
To learn what you can and cannot recycle, click here.