The addition of carton packages marks another innovation in the city’s successful recycling efforts, with nearly all household containers used by residents now being recyclable. Residents who receive city refuse-collection service should place all empty food and beverage cartons in their blue curbside recycling bin.
Commonly used carton containers include milk and juice cartons, as well as soup, broth and soy-milk cartons.
The initiative will enable the city of to boost its recycling rates. The city currently has a waste diversion rate of 65 percent, and having residents recycle their cartons will help to increase that number, according to officials.
San Diego is part of a national movement of major cities that now offer curbside residential carton recycling, and is one of the largest cities in California to recycle cartons. This expansion of their recycling program is being supported through a public private partnership with the Carton Council, a collaborative of carton manufacturers committed to expanding carton recycling in the United States.
Carton recycling is becoming increasingly popular across the nation. In 2008, only 18 percent of American households had access to carton-recycling programs. Today, thanks in part to the Carton Council, this number has more than doubled to nearly 40 percent, with more than one in three households now having access. San Diego joins cities in over 40 states representing over 46 million households that now accept cartons as part of their residential curbside collection programs.
To support the initiative, the city and the Carton Council will launch a public-education campaign to encourage residents to recycle their food and beverage cartons. Key supporters and partners in the campaign include Horizon Organic dairy brand; Silk plant-based natural and organic beverages, and International Delight flavored, liquid non-dairy creamers. Each of these food and beverage product companies utilizes carton packaging, and wants to ensure that consumers recycle these products.
The project’s partners will spend the next few months getting the word out to residents to raise public awareness about carton recycling. The campaign will include direct mail, radio promotions, advertising in local community newspapers, outreach at local community events, along with on-line and social media efforts. Local grocery stores have also committed to distribute informational materials about carton recycling to their customers.
The recycled carton paper fibers are a valuable resource for making new products and consist of some of the highest quality fiber among recyclable products. Consequently, cartons have global demand and are shipped to paper mills, where the paper fiber is extracted to make new products such as paper towels, tissue, and even building materials.
For more information, visit www.recyclingworks.com.