DENVER - In celebration of Earth Day, Mayor Michael B. Hancock, in partnership with Waste Management of Colorado, the Carton Council and WhiteWave Foods announced today that food and beverage cartons are now recyclable as a part of the Denver Public Works’ residential recycling program, Denver Recycles. The addition of carton packages marks another innovation in the City’s recycling advancements and success, and now nearly all household containers used by residents are recyclable.
Denver households may now begin placing all empty food and beverage cartons in their purple Denver Recycles cart. Products commonly packaged in cartons include: milk (dairy, soy and almond); juice; small juice and milk boxes; cream; egg whites and egg substitutes; soup and broth; protein drinks; eggnog, wine, tofu; and ice cream and frozen yogurt.
“Improving Denver’s recycling and waste diversion is a leading component of our Greenprint Denver initiatives,” said Mayor Hancock. “We’re excited to partner with Waste Management, the Carton Council and WhiteWave Foods to bring this new recycling opportunity to our residents. I’m especially excited to be making this addition to the recycling program because there are not only significant environmental benefits, but also powerful economic benefits both locally and globally. We should all be proud to be part of a world-class City that values these benefits.”
The city of Denver has been partnering with Waste Management to sort and market the materials collected through Denver Public Works’ Denver Recycles program for almost 20 years. This change is possible through Waste Management’s continued efforts to invest in and improve its Denver Materials Recovery Facility and its partnership with the Carton Council to expand its recycling market development.
“We are pleased to be able to partner with the city of Denver, the Carton Council and WhiteWave Foods to create the opportunity to recycle more waste,” said Scott Bradley, Area Vice President, Waste Management. “As the leading recycler in Colorado, we will continue to partner with the City to bring new and innovative opportunities to the advance recycling in Denver and the metro region.
Carton recycling is becoming increasingly popular across the United States. Denver is now the largest city in the Rocky Mountain region to recycle cartons, and is part of a national movement of major cities across the country that have expanded their residential recycling programs to include cartons. In 2008, only 18 percent of U.S. households had access to carton recycling programs. Today, thanks in part to the Carton Council, this number has doubled to nearly 36%, with more than 1 in 3 households that now have access. Cities in over 40 states representing almost 42 million households now accept cartons as part of their residential collection programs. “Denver Public Works takes great pride in the residential recycling program, and we are pleased to be providing yet another service that allows residents to actively participate in creating a greener Denver while providing a valuable resource to packaging manufacturers,” said Jose Cornejo, Manager of Public Works.
The recycled carton paper fibers are a valuable resource for making new products and consist of some of the highest quality fiber among recyclable products. Consequently, cartons have global demand and are shipped to paper mills, where the paper fiber is extracted to make new products such as paper towels, tissue, and even building materials.
“As a local Colorado company and the maker of Silk, Horizon Organic and International Delight products, we’re proud to support carton recycling efforts and to bring valuable information about the benefits of carton recycling to our more than 50 million consumers nationwide, including Denver residents,” said Blaine McPeak, President of WhiteWave Foods. “Supporting recycling efforts aligns with our mission to be the Earth’s favorite food company, and we look forward to working with the City of Denver, Waste Management and the Carton Council in the coming months to increase the number of Denver households recycling cartons.”
The City, Waste Management, the Carton Council and WhiteWave Foods will be spending the next couple of months getting the word out to residents to raise public awareness about carton recycling. Starting in May, King Soopers and Whole Foods will be supporting efforts to promote carton recycling by placing education materials in their Denver stores. This point of purchase communication is expected to be an effective tool to raise awareness. Samples of this signage were presented at today’s press conference.
“Carton recycling is a win for Denver’s residents and the environment,” said Derric Brown, Director of Sustainability for Evergreen Packaging, a Carton Council member. “We are excited to be working in Denver to make this program possible and to support education and marketing efforts with local partners.”
Recycling participants will receive information about this change through a direct mail postcard. Residents wishing to receive updates from Denver Recycles are encouraged to connect with Denver Recycles on Facebook or Twitter, or visit www.DenverGov.org/DenverRecycles or call 3-1-1.
About the Denver Recycles program
Denver Recycles is a program of the City and County of Denver, Public Works Department. It provides free residential recycling service to single family homes, and multi-family buildings with seven or fewer units. Currently more than 112,000 homes participate in the recycling program. Denver Recycles also offers a number of special and seasonal recycling opportunities.
About Waste Management
Waste Management, Inc. is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Through its subsidiaries, the company provides collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. It is the largest residential recycler in North America and a leading developer, operator and owner of waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. The company’s customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America. Waste Management has served Colorado residents for over 30 years, and annually employs 1,200 Coloradoans. To learn more information about Waste Management visit www.wm.com or www.thinkgreen.com.
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. Cartons have some of the lowest environmental impacts within the packaging industry, and the Carton Council seeks to reduce the impact further by expanding recycling programs across the country and further improving the environmental performance of cartons. 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. This includes milk and juice cartons found in the refrigerated case or cartons merchandised on nonrefrigerated shelves, containing products such as juice, soy, broth, soup, wine and meal replacement beverages. As of November 2011, the Carton Council's Carton Recycling Access Campaign has helped increase consumer access to nearly 42 million households nationwide (more than 1 in 3 American households).
About WhiteWave Foods
The mission of WhiteWave Foods is to be the Earth’s favorite food company, by creating nutritious, innovative, responsibly-produced foods that nurture people and the planet. WhiteWave brands include Horizon®, the leading national organic dairy brand; and Silk®, the national category leader in natural and organic plant-based beverages, including Silk® Soymilk, Silk® Pure Almond and Silk® Pure Coconut. WhiteWave also makes International Delight®, the nation’s leading provider of flavored, liquid non-dairy creamers and LAND O LAKES®* liquid dairy products, including America’s number one nationally branded Half & Half and Fat Free Half & Half.
Based in Colorado, WhiteWave is committed to sustainability, from encouraging the use of renewable energy to reducing waste, water use and greenhouse gas emissions at its farms, plants and offices. For more information, visit WhiteWave online at www.whitewavefoods.com, or follow WhiteWave on Facebook and Twitter.
*The LAND O LAKES brand is owned by Land O’Lakes, Inc. and is used by license.