DC Looks to Improve their 16% Recycling Rate

On July 14th of 2014, DC passed two pieces of legislation, setting the stage for progression towards a more sustainable waste management system. The District currently only recycles 16%… that’s barely a third of MD’s recycling rate.

Here are a few key accomplishments of the two Acts.

  • Solid Waste Hierarchy

Establishing a hierarchy will now set the standard for which departments of the government, specifically the Department of Public Works, must follow. Here are the District’s waste priorities:
First, reduce or reuse; Second, recycle, compost or waste-to-energy; Third, landfill or incinerate.

  • Mandatory Source Separation for Recycling and Composting

Everyone in DC is now required to separate recycling from trash. Once a District-wide composting market and program are established by the Mayor, source separation of compostables will also be required.

  • Zero Waste Planning

A working group has been established to develop a zero waste plan to achieve 80% waste diversion from landfills and incinerators.

  • Recycling Education

All private collection properties, establishments not serviced by public waste services, must train their housekeeping staff and provide adequate signage and communication for all employees.

  • Polystyrene (Styrofoam) Reduction and Elimination

Some exceptions exist but by January 1, 2016, the District is banning the use of Styrofoam from all food service businesses. By January 1, 2017, any single-use food ware used in food service businesses and government facilities must be replaced with compostable or recyclable products.

What’s this mean for you as a business owner in DC?

The District of Columbia would like to greatly change its waste management practices. Everyone from individual residents to government agencies to private business owners will be subject to waste segregation guidelines. Start a program today at your own pace and direction and avoid risking non-compliance.

How can Reduction In Motion help you?

Meeting these regulations requires more than purchasing recycling bins. A business needs to conduct a complete waste profile and flow assessment to design a successful waste segregation program. Gaps in a program such as employee training, inefficient equipment, or inadequate hauling contracts will cost a business time and money. Reduction In Motion will work with you to develop a comprehensive waste segregation program complete with policies, communications, training, equipment recommendations and data tools. We’ll then work with you on-site to implement the program by conducting the training, guiding program deployment, engaging with vendors, and tracking your data. Let us act as your insurance policy; making sure you meet these government regulations, while implementing best management practices and achieving industry-wide respect. Contact us today at (410) 877-1593 or TrashTalks@ReductionInMotion.com.


Sustainable DC Omnibus Act of 2013

Sustainable Solid Waste Management Act of 2014