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West Virginia city surveys residents on possible curbside recycling pilot program

The Public Works Department of Huntington, West Virginia, is collaborating with Marshall University faculty members and students to create a curbside recycling pilot program.

The first step in that process is a brief survey about recycling that focuses on residents’ recycling habits, preference for recycling program structure and willingness to pay for the service.

The survey is available at and only takes a few minutes to complete, according to the city. It also will be printed on a postage-paid postcard that will accompany municipal refuse fee bills being mailed to Huntington residents later this week. Residents are asked to either complete the survey online or to mail the postcard with their responses to the city no later than March 5, 2018.

The survey responses will be given to Marshall Sociology Professor Dr. Marty Laubach and his students for data entry and analysis.

The online survey asks residents for their address, and the postcards have been coded so Laubach and his students will know the neighborhoods respondents are from. That information will be used to identify neighborhoods that will be most likely to participate in a curbside recycling pilot program.

“The city of Huntington remains committed to offering our residents a robust recycling program,” Mayor Steve Williams says. “My administration’s mantra has been to measure twice and cut once. If we’re going to be successful in bringing a world-class recycling program to Huntington, we must approach it in a businesslike, calculated fashion.

“The talents of Marshall University’s faculty members and students will bring a greater depth of analysis to this endeavor that the city could not reach on its own,” Williams continues. “We are extremely excited about this ongoing partnership that we have forged with Marshall.”

The recycling survey and the analysis that will occur over the next few months are part of a project hosted by the Community Research and Teaching Experiences (CORTEX) Center at Marshall. The center was the idea of Mathematics Professor Michael Schroeder and Political Science Professor Damien Arthur following a research project that Schroeder and a group of his students conducted for the Huntington Police Department in 2016 to optimize patrol routes.

The CORTEX Center also coordinated a research project with the Public Works Department in spring 2017 that evaluated the Department’s household garbage routes and looked for potential efficiencies.

“The focus of the CORTEX Center is to create inter-disciplinary task forces consisting of faculty members and students that can help overcome challenges faced by Marshall’s community partners,” Schroeder says. Our students gain valuable, real-world experience in the process, and our faculty members are able to make significant contributions in the community in which they live, work and play.”


» Publication Date: 13/02/2018

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This project has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° [310187].