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Curbside recycling will continue in New Orleans with a few exceptions

The city announced Friday it will continue a curbside recycling program after the closest recycling processor said it would stop accepting residential recycling


The city of New Orleans announced it will continue its residential curbside recycling program after a month of silence following the announcement that the sorting facility used by the city's contracted recyclers would stop accepting residential recycling. 

But the continuation comes with some caveats. 

Starting Saturday, May 18, fewer items will be allowed into home recycling bins to cut down on contamination -- the amount of non-recyclable material mixed in with the recycling -- before it is sorted. 

PREVIOUSLY: Recycling may stop in Orleans and Jefferson Parishes on May 17

Wax board containers such as juice boxes and milk cartons, as well as plastic bags, will not be recyclable under the city's changed program. 

Here are the items that will be accepted curbside during regularly scheduled collections:

  • 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.

Here are the items that will no longer be accepted curbside:

  • Plastics #3 through #7, wax board (juice boxes/milk cartons) and plastic bags

Here are the items accepted at the Recycling Drop-Off Center (located on Elysian Fields Avenue) on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month:

  • 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;
  • E-Waste (computers, laptops, telephones/telephone systems, keyboards, speakers, telephone/computer cables, x-boxes, PlayStation, Wii, MP3/DVD/CD players, UPS, Circuit boards, Portable Navigation/GPS devices, ink jet/toner cartridges, digital cameras/video recorders (DVRs), fax machines, small printers, monitors, processors, networking equipment, stereos, security systems);  
  • Batteries (AA, AAA, AAAA, C. D, 6 & 9 volt, Lithium); Light bulbs (Incandescent and fluorescent);
  • Televisions (Limit 4), Glass (Limit 50lbs.), Tires (Limit: 5); Mardi Gras Beads, and 
  • Organics for Composting (fruit/vegetable scraps (peels, skins, pits, or seeds), tea bags, coffee grounds and paper filters, eggshells, nutshells, seed shells, plain bread, grains, and plan pasta (no toppings, meat bones, dairy or foods with oil).  

Food and drink containers should be rinsed out before recycling. As always, Styrofoam, containers with food, and items stained with grease (such as pizza boxes) are not accepted in the curbside program or at the Recycling Drop-Off Center.  

RELATED: Jefferson Parish resident recycling program extended to June 30

On April 17, recycling processor Republic Services told city contracted recycling collectors that they would stop accepting any residential recycling on May 17. 

Republic cited China’s partial ban on imported recycling from the U.S. as the reason for the change. Global markets also changed contamination level requirements for import into countries where the majority of the world's recycling is done.      

“We must all do our part to reduce contamination to assist collection, processing and manufacturing companies until new and expanded markets are developed," said Ramsey Green, Deputy CAO for Infrastructure and Chief Resilience Officer for Metro Services Group, one of the city contractors.

"Although contamination from our area has not exceeded generally acceptable levels, it can be reduced further. It is our hope that these actions will assist in extending the life of the City’s recycling programs.”

City officials did not say how they would dispose of recyclable material without sending it to Republic Services.