Last week, the District government announced that it could no longer afford its $3.7-million curbside recycling program. The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) disagrees. In February, ILSR proposed a series of improvements to the city’s trash and recycling programs that it claims could save the District $31 million each year, and create at least 300 new jobs. Currently, the city forces haulers to take their garbage to a D.C. facility in Lorton, where they must pay a $64 “tipping,” or unloading, fee. The result has been that small haulers, which cannot afford the fees or transportation costs, have either gone out of business or taken their garbage to private waste-transfer stations. If the city were to spend $5-7 million to modernize its Fort Totten and Benning Road waste-transfer facilities so they could accept waste currently carted to Lorton, ILSR claims, D.C. could lower its tipping fees and still earn new net revenues of $17 million, and small haulers would be able to hire more people. The city has claimed that the market for recycled materials isn’t supporting their program. But ILSR says that if residents and haulers better separated their recyclables, the city would see revenues increase at least $3 million. The organization adds that implementing recycling in each of the city’s 220 schools and administrative buildings could save the city another $3 million.