BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Baltimore Department of Public Works will provide free recycling carts to 190,000 households, the DPW announced Wednesday.

The $9.5 million project consists of a $3 million total investment from The Recycling Partnership, which includes $1.65 million from the beverage industry, a plastic resin donation for recycling carts from Dow Packing & Specialty Plastics, and lidded rollout carts manufactured by Rehrig Pacific, as well as a $3 million investment from Closed Loop Partners’ Infrastructure Fund. The city will begin a recycling education campaign to inform the community about the new carts and what can and cannot be recycled.

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Approximately 40 million new pounds of recyclables per year, or an 80 percent increase in recyclables per household, could be generated by providing Baltimore households with recycling carts, according to an estimate from The Recycling Partnership and Closed Loop Partners. The program will also help collect and recycle nearly 30 million new pounds of plastic over 10 years, including 16 million new pounds of polyethylene terephthalate that might otherwise have gone to waste.

Baltimore is the eighth-largest city in the United States without universal cart recycling access, according to a DPW statement.

In identifying options for improving solid waste diversion, the city’s Less Waste, Better Baltimore Plan said providing residents with a free recycling cart would be key. Before this, city residents had to provide their own carts during the weekly recycling collections.

Using larger-capacity, lidded recycling carts will allow for safer and more efficient collection, reducing the amount of manual labor needed, helping to prevent injury to collection staff while providing residents with increased storage capacity for their recyclables at the same time, according to the DPW statement.

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Launched in 2019 by American Beverage, Every Bottle Back aims to reduce the beverage industry’s plastic footprint by increasing the number of bottles that are collected and remade into new ones. Every Bottle Back brings together The Coca-Cola Company, Keurig Dr. Pepper, and PepsiCo with leading environmental and sustainability organizations, including the World Wildlife Fund, Closed Loop Partners, and The Recycling Partnership, to support the circular plastics economy.

 

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CBS Baltimore Staff