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New York City reconsiders recycling; kudos to Mayor Bloomberg

An op ed in Tuesday’s New York Times praised Mayor Bloomberg for expanding New York City’s recycling program to include, among other items, rigid plastics, such as toys, yogurt cups and plastic forks and knives.

Reversing New York’s decade long drop in recycling rates is a worthy goal that will improve the quality of life in the Big Apple, so kudos to Mayor Bloomberg.

ACC also applauds the Mayor for working with industry to develop the infrastructure that will allow the recycling of materials that just a few short years ago could not have been recycled.  It is an example of the progress that can be made when partners come together in good faith to make things happen.

Now, it’s time for the Mayor and his Administration to keep this momentum going and consider the possibility of recycling polystyrene foam foodservice products, instead of banning them.

Although recycling any type of foodservice has its challenges, leading cities are increasingly collecting polystyrene foam foodservice for recycling. This material can be condensed, bundled and sent to recyclers to make new products, ranging from picture frames to crown molding.

Polystyrene foam foodservice products are a convenient and affordable way to make our on-the-go lifestyle a little less messy. They stand up to hearty chili, keep hot drinks hot without scalding hands and keep food fresher and ready to eat. And despite what you may think, these products are not bad for the environment.

Foam is lightweight, takes up less room in landfills and often requires much less energy to produce and transport than its alternatives. And it can be recycled – especially if the Mayor will work with partners to develop viable solutions.

Mayor Bloomberg has often demonstrated great leadership in tackling tough problems in his City and beyond. We look forward to continuing our conversations with New York City to expand on the recent recycling announcement and develop a polystyrene foam recycling program to ensure our environment, businesses and manufacturers are protected.

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