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New York City expands recycling program to include all rigid plastics

New York City residents can now place all rigid plastics in their recycling bins.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the expansion of the city’s recycling program at a news conference Wednesday.

“Starting today, if it’s a rigid plastic – any rigid plastic – recycle it,” said Bloomberg. “There’s no more worrying about the confusing numbers on the bottom. It doesn’t matter it anymore. If it’s rigid plastic recycle it.”

By expanding the city’s recycling program to include rigid, Nos. 3-7 plastics, 50,000 tons of material that had been going to landfills will be recycled, the mayor said.

“It will save taxpayers almost $600,000 in export costs each year,” he added.

The program expansion starts immediately. Residents are being asked to rinse their plastics before putting them into the bin.

The city has partnered with Sims Municipal Recycling on the expansion. Sims will process the plastics that previously could not be recycled, and later this year Sims plans to open a recycling facility in Brooklyn, the city said.

“With the expansion of plastics recycling we are making the New York City curbside program as inclusive as any in the nation,” Robert Kelman, president of Sims North America Metals, said in a statement. “This is exactly the type of advance that was envisioned when we entered into this long term collaboration with the city and we remain hopeful that increasing the types of plastics recycled will lead to higher recycling rates for metal, paper and other recyclables.”

Not included in the city’s new recycling program are single use plastic bags, plastic film and polystyrene foam.

The expansion is part of a wider New York City recycling initiative to double the city’s recycling rate – now about 15% — by 2017.

Read the full article at Waste & Recycling news;