DC Launches Expanded Recycling Program

DC Launches Expanded Recycling Program

Colleen Quinn
Oct 15, 2008

We recently learned that the Department of Public Works recycling collection crews are accepting an expanded list of items for recycling- now residents can recycle film plastics like grocery, produce, and dry cleaning bags, as well as aerosol cans and a variety of rigid plastic including plastic lawn furniture, toys and flower pots.

District residents already exceed national recycling rates for newspapers, cardboard and plastic and glass bottles, but the DPW hopes to increase the overall recycling rate by increasing the number of acceptable items and diverting more cardboard, and steel and aluminum cans from the landfill to the recycling processing center.

As of October 6, DC residents can recycle:


  • Aerosol cans

  • Milk and juice cartons

  • Plastic bags, e.g., grocery bags, newspaper bags, shopping bags (Please "bag the bags" by placing all the bags into one bag.)

  • Rigid plastics: plastic milk/soda crates, plastic buckets with metal handles, plastic laundry baskets, plastic lawn furniture, plastic totes, plastic drums, plastic coolers, plastic flower pots, plastic drinking cups/glasses, plastic 5-gallon water bottles, plastic pallets, plastic toys, and empty plastic garbage/recycling bins

  • Wide-mouth containers: peanut butter, margarine/butter tubs, yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, whipped topping, and prescription and other medicine bottles.


For a complete list of accepted recyclables and instructions, review a copy of the new DPW Reference Guide at //www.recycle.dpw.dc.gov. Residents whose recyclables exceed their container(s) can put additional recyclables in either a brown paper bag or a small cardboard box next to their recycling bin or cart.

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