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Berkeley, Calif., to accept more plastics at the curb

By: Jennifer Kalish
WASTE & RECYCLING NEWS

July 11, 2013

Residents in Berkeley, Calif., can now recycle more plastic containers at the curb, according to the Ecology Center, a nonprofit organization that has managed Berkeley's recycling for 40 years.

The center will now accept clean food storage containers, dairy tubs, plastic cups and trays. Previously Berkeley residents were only able to recycle plastic bottles and milk jugs at the curb, the report said.

Martin Bourque, executive director of the Ecology Center, said the main reason for the delay in accepting more plastics is the lack of a viable market for those items.

"We're not going to lead you to believe that certain plastics are being recycled when a recycling market for those items doesn't actually exist," he said in the news release. "We didn't want to collect other kinds of plastics until we could verify that they would indeed be recycled and not just landfilled, discarded or incinerated."

There are still some plastics that the center will not collect, including polystyrene foam, plastic film, compostable plastics, coffee lids and plastic utensils, the report said.