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Recycling Wars Wrap-Up: Huntington Woods 'Loses' to Underdog Hazel Park

Hazel Park won the recycling challenge by increasing its tonnage more than Huntington Woods did. See why that makes both cities recycling champions.

After a friendly recycling competition that remained  throughout the month of May, Huntington Woods is standing aside to let Hazel Park bask in its victory.

“I am pleased to say that they won,” said Claire Galed, manager of . “The whole reason of getting into this challenge was really to give other cities an incentive to try to improve.”

Hazel Park put up some fierce competition because as Galed explained, Huntington Woods is the leader among the 12 communities in the Southeastern Oakland County Resource Recovery Authority (SOCRRA) when it comes to recycling. The newly crown Hazel Park was in last place.

After the , Hazel Park increased its recycling tonnage by 11 percent. In comparison, Huntington Woods increased by 1 percent.

When the numbers are stacked up, however, it’s clear to see both communities came out on top in the competition.

“It’s much harder for Huntington Woods to win because we recycle so much that every percentage increase is such high amounts of tonnage,” Galed explained. “The fact that we increased our recycling even by 1 percent is amazing.”

The average number of pounds collected weekly in Huntington Woods during the five collections that made up the competition was 40,144. That’s just a little more than 40 pounds more than last May.

Hazel Park, on the other hand, collected more than 2,000 pounds more, moving from just more than 20,000 pounds last year in weekly collections to 22,321 pounds this May.

“We recycled more pounds, but in terms of improvement, they really kicked it up a notch,” Galed said. “When I first brought this up, everyone thought Huntington Woods would win. This was set up so Hazel Park would have the chance to win if they just gave it a try.”

That they did.

Galed said the city had people signing pledge cards, pushing recycling bins and telling everyone who walked into City Hall, in order to make it easier for Hazel Park residents to do what other communities routinely do.

“Hopefully they have the momentum to stay with it,” Galed said. “I think they do, which is great.”

Next up for Huntington Woods’ commitment to recycling will be a national recycling competition in July in order to vie for a green grant of $100,000.

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