Berkeley, California presidents will soon be able to recycle more varieties of plastic containers as part of the city’s curbside recycling service. Ecology Center, a not-for-profit group that has overseen Berkeley’s recycling program since the mid-1970s, will now accept clean dairy tubs, plastic cups, food storage containers, and plastic trays. Prior to the change, residents were only allowed to recycle milk jugs and plastic bottles.
The reason for the delay in accepting additional forms of plastics was difficulty with establishing a viable market for recycling them. Ecology Center and city officials did not want to collect materials under the guise of recycling only to have them incinerated or landfilled when a recycler or manufacturer requiring those plastics could not be found.
The city presently is not accepting items such as Styrofoam, thin film plastic, compostable plastics, and plastic utensils including coffee lids. However, should a business enterprise be willing to work with the city to acquire those items, there is the possibility that the collection list could change.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Recycling your waste materials is a great idea, but you want to make sure the items you’re collecting have a value and market demand. Take time to research the opportunities that are available and plan your recycling programs accordingly for maximum benefit to the environment and your bottom line!