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The Fresh Grocer store at Progress Plaza in north Philadelphia took part last week in the unveiling of an initiative to collect food and beverage cartons in an expansion of the city’s residential curbside recycling program. Mayor Michael A. Nutter, Streets Commissioner Clarena I. W. Tolson and representatives from the Carton Council, Waste Management were on hand for the occasion.
The Fresh Grocer, based in Drexel Hill, Pa., is a rewards partner in the Philadelphia’s “Recycling Rewards” program, powered by New York-based RecycleBank, which enables people to earn points to redeem items whenever they recycle.
With this latest addition to the program, nearly all household containers used by residents are now recyclable. Philadelphia’s recycling diversion rate -- the amount of materials diverted from the waste stream -- is currently almost 20 percent, and is as high as more than 25 percent in some parts of the city.
Residential households can now place all empty, clean and dry food and beverage cartons in their recycling bins. Commonly used carton containers include milk and juice cartons, as well as soup and broth, soy milk, eggnog and wine cartons.
Philadelphia has brought carton recycling to its residents in a public-private partnership with the Vernon Hills, Ill.-based Carton Council, a group of carton manufacturers dedicated to finding long-term collaborative solutions as a way to divert cartons from landfills.
“Philadelphia is committed to becoming the Greenest City in America, and our recycling program is a leading component in this effort,” said Nutter. “This collaboration shows what can happen when government and companies work to create successful public-private partnerships.”