Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Update and Corrections on Recycling in DC

For reasons that are unclear to me, the DC Office of Recycling sent me on a tour of the PG County recycling center, rather than the facility that DC uses. So, now, I have to correct many of the statements I made several weeks ago. I am sorry about the confusion, but now we know the truth. Here's the low-down on recycling various items in DC:
  • Toilet paper rolls - yes
  • Ziploc(tm) bags and cellophane are NOT accepted at this time.
  • Aluminum pie trays, aluminum - yes, if clean.
  • Gift Boxes - assuming it's paperboard.
  • Tissue Paper - no, no paper towels, tissues, napkins, or gift wrap tissue.
  • Pizza boxes - no.
  • No service in our region processing commingled or single stream recyclables (bottles/cans/paper) currently takes expanded polystyrene (e.g. Styrofoam(r)) or clam shells, (e.g. transparent buffet/salad vessels and/or vacuum-molded, retail plastic display packaging) to my knowledge. Reusable food containers (e.g. Tupperware(r)) would be the ideal.
  • Garden Hoses - The DC Office of Recycling called to verify this, and two separate representative of Richie's Land Reclamation, LLP, claim they have no knowledge of any related policy. They suggest visiting reuse stores (ReStore, Loading Dock, Community Forklift).
  • Car Batteries - should go automobile parts retailers for credit.
  • Hazardous Waste - see the DPW website for restrictions (e.g. munitions go to Metro Police Dept.)
  • Needles - There is NO municipal collection.  Available options are either returning them via your own health-care provider, or encasing them in a well-sealed, well-labeled, rigid, plastic container before placing them with your solid waste.
  • In contrast to PG County, DC prefers residents to follow a "when it doubt, leave it out" policy.
Thanks to the DC Office of Recycling for this clarification!

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