Monday, October 6, 2008

Mayor Fenty Announces Expanded Recycling Program

Plastic Bags, Aerosol Cans, Wide Mouth Jars, and Plastic Toys Now Can be Recycled

Mayor Adrian Fenty announced that starting today Department of Public Works recycling collection crews will accept an expanded list of items for recycling, especially plastics. Now residents can recycle film plastics like grocery, produce, and dry cleaning bags, as well as aerosol cans and a variety of rigid plastic including plastic lawn furniture, toys and flower pots.

"We are meeting District residents' demand for increasing the types of recyclables we collect," said Mayor Fenty. "Washingtonians are deeply committed to halting the damage being done to the environment and recycling is a win-win program for the District and the environment."

Mayor Fenty noted that District residents exceed national recycling rates for newspapers, cardboard and plastic and glass bottles. He added that there are opportunities to increase the overall recycling rate by increasing the number of acceptable items and diverting more cardboard,and steel and aluminum cans from the landfill to the recycling processing center.

"Educating residents is vital to increasing the number of people who recycle as well as increasing the volume of recyclables collected that are converted into new products," said Mayor Fenty.

DPW Director William O. Howland, Jr. said, "The value of potential recyclables depends on the market available for the recovered materials and, until recently, the market for these new items was scarce. Over time, we have seen new and imaginative final products derived from recycled materials. Clothing and kitchen countertops are among the
products made from recyclables and we take for granted that what we buy contains some recycled content."

"With this expanded list, most residents will probably find they fill their bins or blue recycling carts more than their 32-gallon trash cans or their Supercans," Howland added.

Beginning October 6, residents can recycle:

* Aerosol cans

* Milk and juice cartons

* Plastic bags, e.g., grocery bags, newspaper bags, shopping bags (Please "bag the bags" by placing all the bags into one bag.)

* Rigid plastics: plastic milk/soda crates, plastic buckets with metal handles, plastic laundry baskets, plastic lawn furniture, plastic totes, plastic drums, plastic coolers, plastic flower pots, plastic drinking cups/glasses, plastic 5-gallon water bottles, plastic pallets, plastic toys, and empty plastic garbage/recycling bins

* Wide-mouth containers: peanut butter, margarine/butter tubs, yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, whipped topping, and prescription and other medicine bottles.

For a complete list of accepted recyclables and instructions, review a copy of the new DPW Reference Guide, which is being mailed out to DPW customers and distributed throughout the city, or visit . Residents whose recyclables exceed their container(s) can put additional recyclables in either a brown paper bag or a small cardboard box and place them next to their recycling bin or cart. For an additional cart or bin, residents may call 311.

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