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Mayor Nutter Announces Carton Recycling

Written by Mayor's Office of Communications
Published: December 14, 2011

Philadelphia, December 14, 2011 –Mayor Michael A. Nutter, the Philadelphia Streets Department and the Carton Council announced today that food and beverage cartons are now recyclable as a part of the City’s residential curbside recycling program. With this new service, nearly all household containers used by residents are now recyclable.


The City is bringing carton recycling to its residents in a public private partnership with the Carton Council, a group of carton manufacturers united to deliver long term collaborative solutions in order to divert valuable cartons from the landfill. Philadelphia’s recycling diversion rate, the amount of materials diverted from the waste stream, currently stands at nearly 20 percent, reaching rates of more than 25 percent in some neighborhoods of the city.


“Philadelphia is committed to becoming the greenest city in America, and our recycling program is a leading component in this effort,” said Mayor Nutter. “We are proud to partner with the Carton Council to bring recycling innovation to our residents. This collaboration shows what can happen when government and companies work to create successful public-private partnerships. I am proud to be the mayor of a city with individuals and organizations that are dedicated to creating clean and green neighborhoods.”  


Beginning immediately, residential households can place all empty, clean and dry food and beverage cartons in their recycling bins. Commonly used carton containers include milk and juice cartons, along with soup and broth, soy milk, eggnog and wine cartons.


The addition of cartons to the curbside recycling program will enable residents to earn more Philadelphia Recycling Rewards points and properly dispose of commonly used holiday materials.


“Adding cartons to your recycling bin is a great way to earn more Recycling Rewards points, which can be redeemed during the holiday season to purchase gifts for your friends and family,” said Streets Commissioner Clarena I. W. Tolson. “Also during this time of year, people are increasingly using carton materials- such as eggnog, broth and wine cartons- for their festive recipes and gatherings. Now is the perfect time to introduce this to the city so we can allow residents to fully take advantage of all of the benefits that this program has.”

The Carton Council’s collaboration with the City of Philadelphia serves as a model for how other cities can promote and implement carton recycling in their communities.  The Carton Council acted as a facilitator to help the City achieve its goal to add carton recycling to its curbside programs. A key step was working with the City’s recycling processors to ensure cartons would be marketable as a recyclable commodity before they would be added to the City’s program. The Carton Council provided technical and financial support for equipment upgrades for processing the cartons.  The Carton Council is also supporting City staff as they raise awareness and disseminate information on carton recycling to local residents that use the City’s recycling services. 


“Carton recycling is a win for Philadelphia’s residents and the environment,” said Derric Brown, Director of Sustainability for Evergreen Packaging, a Carton Council member. “We are committed to working with more cities to take the important step of expanding their recycling programs to keep cartons out of the landfills and into the recycling bin.”


For more information on the City of Philadelphia’s recycling programs, please visit the Streets Department’s website and social media pages at,,, and


About the Carton Council

The Carton Council is a group of carton manufacturer united to deliver long term collaborative solutions in order to divert valuable cartons from the landfill.  The members of the Carton Council are Elopak, Evergreen Packaging, SIG/SIG Combibloc and Tetra Pak.  They are working with local government officials, recycling facilities, paper mills and communities across the United States to build a robust system to recycle liquid food and beverage carton packages. 




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