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Supporting Cities, Boosting Curbside Recycling

Wow. What a busy few weeks we’ve had, and we still have another event to go! In case you were wondering where we've been, we traveled to Chattanooga and Washington, D.C., to kick off an initiative we’re really proud of — getting cities to accept foodservice packaging in curbside recycling programs. And, we'll continue this kick-off tour in Louisville later this month. 

Over the past five years, we've worked with industry partners on extensive research to understand both the real and perceived barriers to getting more foodservice packaging recycled. This led to discussions with end markets, material recovery facilities and communities to pinpoint opportunities to recycle paper and plastic foodservice packaging in residential curbside programs. 

From these conversations, we identified cities that were willing to work toward recycling foodservice packaging at the curb. After all, a large portion of foodservice packaging is disposed of at home, so it makes the most sense to allow people to recycle those products through their curbside programs.  

Three cities — Washington, D.C., Chattanooga and Louisville — were excited to work with us to help their citizens recycle foodservice packaging at home. That means almost half a million households can now recycle takeout packaging like paper and plastic cups, containers, pizza and sandwich boxes, and paper bags in their curbside carts and bins! 

While we worked closely with end markets and recycling processors to achieve this adoption, it also takes a lot of work to communicate these changes to residents of these cities. 

In Chattanooga, we helped the city launch an outreach campaign to inform residents of the new acceptable materials and how to properly recycle these items. In D.C., we supported a communications campaign called Zero Waste DC that provides resources to help residents, business and visitors move toward zero waste. And, in a couple weeks, we'll be doing the same thing in Louisville to ensure residents know what items can be recycled, and how. 

While we're making great steps, there’s more to be done. We want to continue working with communities that are motivated to divert more foodservice materials from their waste stream, whether it’s through recycling or composting. So, if your community has a strong recycling and/or composting program and you're interested in adding new materials, we want to hear from you. 

We think it’s a win all around. Now, please excuse us while we get ready to launch this program in Louisville!

Posted By Lynn M. Dyer (President) | 10/10/2017 6:12:36 AM