USA – The city of New York is expanding its recycling programme to include plastic items such as shampoo bottles, toys, coffee cups and food containers as part of the bid to double its recycling rate to 30% by 2017. According to mayor Michael Bloomberg, this will result in 50 000 tons of plastic being diverted from disposal each year as well as annual savings of US$ 600 000 in shipping costs.The programme expansion will be promoted by a city-wide marketing campaign including mailers, decals and increased signage. Recovered materials will be managed by Sims Municipal Recycling, which has three facilities operating in the area – in Long Island City, the Bronx and Jersey City, New Jersey. The company will shortly open another facility in Brooklyn as part of a 20-year contract with the city.
The city of New York has also announced that it will extend its food scrap composting pilot programme, which is currently in operation at some Brooklyn and Manhattan public schools, to residents of Staten Island’s Westerleigh neighbourhood next month. Participating households will be given a starter kit including a brown kerbside bin, city-approved compostable liners and a small kitchen container. Each bin will be equipped with a radio frequency identification tag which will allow the city to track participation in the programme.