Dallas Becomes First Major Texas City to Launch Carton Recycling

Food and Beverage Cartons added to City's Residential Curbside Recycling Program - Part of Growing National Trend

Sep 08, 2011, 10:00 ET from City of Dallas

DALLAS, Sept. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The City of Dallas has launched a new effort to add food and beverage cartons as part of its residential curbside recycling program.  Dallas will be the first major city in Texas to have a carton recycling program, and boosts the number of households nationally that have access to carton recycling.  The effort is supported by the Carton Council, a collaborative of carton manufacturers committed to expanding carton recycling in the U.S.

"Dallas is proud to be the first big city in Texas to make sure that liquid food and beverage cartons are recycled and kept out of landfills," said Mary Nix, Director of Sanitation Services.  "Carton recycling is good for our customers and for the environment."

Under the new initiative, residents will be able to place all empty cartons – such as milk and juice cartons, along with soup and broth, soy milk and wine cartons – in their blue recycling bins or community recycling drop off containers.

Expanding Carton Recycling Nationally

The implementation of carton recycling in Dallas is the latest example of a national trend.  In 2008, only 18 percent of U.S. households had access to carton recycling programs.  Today, this number has nearly doubled to almost 36%, with cities in over 40 states representing approximately 40 million households now accepting cartons in their curbside collection programs.  Dallas increases these numbers by an additional 235,000 households, and is setting the bar for other cities in the state of Texas to follow suit.  Dallas also joins a growing number of cities across the country such as Los Angeles, New York, and Boston that have expanded their recycling programs to include cartons.

Dallas and other cities across the country view carton recycling as a valuable means to helping to achieve their goals of diverting waste from landfills and increasing recycling overall.  Studies show that adding more materials into a municipal recycling program results in not only more households taking part in recycling, but increases the total amount of materials that they will recycle.  

Last year, the City of Dallas recycled more than 50,000 tons of materials and is on track to recycle nearly 65,000 tons this year.  Carton recycling will help the city toward their 31% diversion goal for the year.  By increasing their recycling rate and coming up with innovative ways to increase waste diversion, the city saved $1,185,260.21 of landfill space.

Public/Private Partnership is Key

The Carton Council's collaboration with the City of Dallas serves as a model for how other cities can promote and implement carton recycling in their communities.  

In this case, the Carton Council acted as a facilitator to help the City achieve its goal to add carton recycling to its curbside programs.  A key step was working with the City's recycling processors - with the City and the Carton Council collaborating with the processors to ensure cartons would be marketable as a recyclable commodity before they would be added to the city's program.  The Carton Council also provided technical and financial support for equipment upgrades for processing the cartons.

''We want to create and take advantage of all the opportunities available to recycle more items such as cartons, and to continue to increase the number of recyclable materials that can be saved from landfills," said Sheila Overton, Waste Diversion Manager.  "With the support of the Carton Council, we have been able to make this a reality in Dallas."

The significant increase in carton recycling nationally has been made possible by the Carton Council's efforts to broaden the supply chain infrastructure – adding four new mills that accept cartons, developing domestic and overseas markets that buy recycled cartons, adding 30 municipal recycling facilities (MRFs) that now process cartons, and adding 600 new communities where carton recycling is now available.

Along with providing support to waste diversion staff in municipalities nationwide, the Council provides technical assistance to Material Recovery Facilities to enable them to accept, process and sell recycled cartons through equipment upgrades, operational changes and broker services.  And the Carton Council continues to successfully provide technical, financial and educational support to municipalities, haulers and recycling facilities.  

"The Carton Council is committed to working with the entire recycling supply chain to deliver sustainable recycling solutions in order to divert valuable cartons from the landfill to the highest and best use," said Derric Brown of the Carton Council.  "We are committed to working with other cities to take this important step to expand their recycling programs."

About the Carton Council: The Carton Council and its members Elopak, Evergreen Packaging, SIG/SIG Combibloc and Tetra Pak are working with recycling facilities, the communities they serve, and paper mills across the Country to build a robust recycling system for liquid food and beverage carton packages - i.e. milk and juice cartons found in the refrigerated case or cartons merchandised on nonrefrigerated shelves, containing products such as juice, soy, broth, soup, wine and meal replacement beverages.  As of September 2011, the Carton Council's Carton Recycling Access Campaign has already reached approximately 40 million households (nearly 1 in 3 American households).  And it is actively working to increase the number of communities and households across the country to have access to carton recycling. Visit www.recyclecartons.com

Frank Librio, 214-670-3222
Dallas Public Information Office

SOURCE City of Dallas