Is Your Recycling Being Tossed with the Trash?

Good Morning folks!

BasuraDC9

Trash and Recycling waiting for a ride.

It’s a particularly fine, crisp autumn morning here in D.C. and I’m feeling fine. How about you?

My mood can be attributed at least in part to the fact that a story I spent months on hits news stands today.

I don’t want to spoil the ending for you or anything but, in a nutshell, here’s the scoop: Some private haulers in DC only pretend to recycle your carefully separated newspapers, cardboard and bottles. Instead, they often dump it into their trucks along with the trash, then cart it off to landfills or transfer stations that supply the dumps. That’s what I found after spending months tailing garbage trucks and staking out dumpsters behind apartment complexes, condos and commercial establishments all over the District of Columbia.

What’s perhaps even more surprising, the city hasn’t issued a single ticket for this offense in years. Here’s a quote from Nancee Lyons, a DPW spokesperson, that didn’t make it into today’s Washington City Paper story, an online version of which can be found here.

“Currently we have no authority to write citations unless they are at a DC trash transfer station,” Lyons says.

In other words, inspectors, who see a hauler scofflawing the recycling on a DC street can’t do a thing about it. That seems to make a mockery of the city’s recycling law, particularly considering how often this happens.

Have you ever seen trash guys throwing out recycling and trash together in the same truck? Please share your stories in the comments section.

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About greendistrict

I'm Christine MacDonald, a journalist and the author of the book: "Green, Inc., An Environmental Insider Reveals How a Good Cause Has Gone B

Posted on November 5, 2009, in greenwash, recycling and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Is anything happening about this? I’d like to do something about it, but I don’t know who’s working on the issue. I’m just a solo, un-affiliated person and have no experience organizing, but this infuriates me and it’s the kind of issue that’s fixable.

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