Washington, DC

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Private Garbage Collector: Mixing Recycling and Garbage?

“I’m originally from MI. I grew up separating plastic/metal from paper for recycling. After moving to DC a few years ago, I had to get used to the city’s single stream approach.

I recently moved to a new apartment in Petworth and the management company ( a large one in town) contracts with a private garbage collector. From my apartment I have a awesome view of the alley (fancy, i know). The building has several large yellow-topped recycling only bins and several black-topped trash bins. Every Sunday my girlfriend and I see the private garbage truck come in and dump the contents of both types of bins in to one truck.

Dismayed, I took a picture and forwarded it on to my management company. I got a response saying the trash collector’s “method” is to combine everything and sort out recycling from garbage at their facility. The collectors “assured” the management company that this was a “know industry practice”.

My question: does this sound right? Seems very strange to me. Are there any city regulations on this? Any suggestions as to other steps I could take for more info? I’d hate to be spending a lot of time to sort out recycling if it is all just getting trashed.”

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