Dallas is adding food and beverage cartons to its residential curbside recycling program.
The move is the first in Texas and came about with the help of the Carton Council, a collaboration of carton manufacturers that aim to promote carton recycling in the U.S.
Dallas officials hope the addition of carton recycling will help the city reach its 31 percent diversion goal for this year, according to a press release. Dallas is on track to recycle nearly 65,000 tons this year, up from about 50,000 last year. The Dallas program involves 235,000 households.
Under the program residents will be able to place all cartons, such as milk, juice, soup or wine, in their blue recycling bins or community recycling drop-off containers.
Nationwide carton recycling has nearly doubled to almost 36 percent, with cities in more than 40 states representing about 40 million households now accepting cartons in their curbside programs.
The Carton Council acted as a facilitator for the concept, particularly in working with the city’s recycling processors to develop markets for the cartons. The council also provided technical and financial support for equipment upgrades for processing.
“We want to create and take advantage of all the opportunities available to recycle more items such cartons, and to continue to increase the number of recyclable materials that can be saved from landfills,” said Sheila Overton, waste diversion manager for the city. “With the support of the Carton Council, we have been able to make this a reality in Dallas.”