Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski held a news conference in City Hall on January 31st to announce the expansion of the recycling program to include empty cartons. He was joined at the news conference by Bureau of Recycling & Solid Waste Manager Ann Saurman, Kris Kaar of the Carton Council and Greenstar General Manager Richard Smith. Greenstar processes and markets the city’s recycled cartons, cans and bottles.
Residents can now place empty milk, juice, broth, soup and similar cartons and juice boxes in their GREEN curbside recycling bins along with their plastic, metal and glass containers. Cartons are also being accepted at the Allentown Recycling Drop Off Center at 1400 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive.
“Our residents and businesses are firmly behind the idea of green living through waste reduction and recycling,” said Mayor Pawlowski. “Our residents recycled 3,600 tons of cans and bottles last year. The city has been a leader in recycling and now we are proud to add cartons to the mix.”
Residents are asked to remove all drinking straws and plastic screw-top caps and be sure that all liquid is emptied from the container prior to placing the carton in the GREEN curbside bin or dropping them off in the designated container at the MLK Drive Recycling Center.
“The Carton Council is a national organization committed to working with processors, manufacturers and local governments nationwide to coordinate the recycling of cartons,” said Kaar.
The bales of recycled cartons are shipped to paper mills, where cartons are mixed with water in a gigantic blender to extract all the paper fiber. These recycled carton paper fibers are a valuable resource for making products such as recycled paper products and even building materials.
The city’s curbside recycling program reaches all 36,500 households and 475 businesses in a once-a-week city curbside collection program.