SAN DIEGO -
A group of city employees got very dirty and smelly Tuesday, all in the name of research.
Several recycling specialists working for the city of San Diego began sifting through thousands of pounds of garbage at the Miramar Landfill. The group is studying how much San Diegans are recycling, what they're recycling and what should be recycled.
The last time the city conducted this same study, San Diegans were recycling only 48 percent of their garbage. In 2011, it was up 65 percent.
The state of California would like the city to recycle 75 percent of its trash.
To make up the remaining 10 percent, the specialists could find something in the study San Diegans aren't recycling, whether it's on the list or should be on the list. They can raise awareness and increase the recycling total, and a 10 percent increase in recycling would prevent 400,000 tons of trash from entering the Miramar Landfill every year.
"I think keeping the landfill open and only putting materials in here that we really don't have recycling markets for, that's one goal," said San Diego recycling specialist Renee Robertson.