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Washington, D.C., Expands List of Recyclable Materials

This effort goes hand-in-hand with the District’s goal to divert 80 percent of citywide waste from landfills and waste-to-energy facilities.

The Department of Public Works (DPW), the Department of Energy and Environment and the Department of General Services have announced an expanded list of recyclable items accepted in Washington, D.C. This effort goes hand-in-hand with the District’s goal to divert 80 percent of citywide waste from landfills and waste-to-energy facilities.

Paper, plastic, metal, cartons and glass are currently recycled in the district, and come January 1, 2018, items like pizza boxes; paper and plastic plates, cups, lids and to-go containers; and plastic produce, deli and bakery containers and trays will be accepted. Plastic bags, wraps and film are still not accepted for recycling.

“We encourage all residents to begin recycling these new items at home, at word and in schools,” said Christopher Shorter, director of the Department of Public Works, in a statement. “These items, in addition to everything residents are already accustomed to recycling, can be placed loose in the blue recycling bins residents bring out to the curb each week.”

The changes apply to residents serviced by DPW, living in single-family homes or buildings with three or fewer units. Starting on January 1, 2018, commercial properties, including multi-family dwellings, office buildings and restaurants, will also be required to recycle the newly accepted materials.

“The EPA salutes the District’s efforts to expand recycling options for its residents and businesses,” said Nigel Simon, acting principal deputy assistant administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) office of land and emergency management, in a statement. Innovative local efforts like this help divert valuable items from the waste stream and back into productive use. This helps save resources and energy, spur new economic development and create job opportunities.”

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