Changes to curbside recycling in New Orleans

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NEW ORLEANS – On Thursday, the City announced that its curbside recycling program will continue, but with some changes.

In an effort to simultaneously improve the marketability of recycled items and reduce contamination, the following items will no longer be accepted:

  • Plastics #3 through #7
  • Wax board (juice boxes/milk cartons)
  • Plastic bags

The changes go into effect on Saturday, May 18.

These items will no longer be accepted by its collection contractors or at its Recycling Drop-Off Center on Elysian Fields Avenue.

Recently, Metro Services Group, one of the city’s collection contractors, received notice that it would suspend recyclable pickup from residential, single stream, curbside collections effective May 17.

Republic cited rising costs as a result of China’s ban on the imports of previously accepted types of recyclable materials and changes in contamination level requirements in the global market as the reason for the indefinite suspension.

This announcement required a rapid response by Metro Service Group to secure a change in processors.

Although alternative arrangements were successfully completed, the suspension highlighted the current recycling situation on the national, regional and local level.

“We recognize just how important our recycling program is for our people and our city, so we worked alongside Metro, the local business community and our national resilience network to find a solution,” said Ramsey Green, Deputy CAO for Infrastructure and Chief Resilience Officer.

The following are items that will still be accepted curbside:

  • Plastics #1 (soda/water bottles) and #2 (milk/juice/shampoo/detergent containers);
  • Newspapers, junk mail, phone books, catalogs, office paper; corrugated cardboard, boxboard (cereal boxes/soft drink boxes);
  • Small aluminum and steel cans.


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