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Mayor Parker and the Carton Council announce expanded carton recycling

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At her weekly press conference Wednesday April 9 following a lengthy City Council meeting, Mayor Parker announced expansion of the city's recycling program to include more types of food cartons. She was joined by Gary Readore of the Solid Waste Management Division and Michel Wagner of the Carton Council. The Mayor also restated her goal of expanding the recycling program to the entire city before the end of her final term in office in 2015.

Currently, the Houston recycling program distributes distinctive 18 gallon green bins to every residence in a served neighborhood. The bins are collected every two weeks separately from the weekly garbage pickup. Residents also receive brochures in the mail explaining the collection dates and detailing which types of containers may be recycled. Information is also available on-line at the City's website. In addition, some residents use a 96-gallon cart as part of an automated collection process. Most recyclable containers are marked with a number in or near the well-known recycle logo. The brochures explain which numbers are acceptable and which are not, so each resident has to check the bottom or side of each container.

Gary Reardon stated that he was happy that cartons can now be recycled and kept out of the landfills. The cartons for regular and refrigerated cartons are made mostly of paper. They can reused in a variety of paper products and building products. The cartons can be accepted in the bins and all other Houston recycling centers. He stated that SWM and the Carton Council will launch a public information campaign to explain the new rules for recycling. The them will be “When the contents are gone, let the cartons live on.”

Michel Wagner explained more detail about the role of the Carton Council in providing funding for equipment and new technology in the city's recycling processing centers. She stated that cartons are one of the most sustainable containers consumers can use today. “In 2008, only 18% of the households in the USA had the ability to recycle cartons. Since the Carton Council was formed in 2009, the percentage has more than doubled. 49% of the households in the USA can now recycle cartons.

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