Reduce, reuse, and recycle. The City of Alexandria started offering a curbside recycling program in 2010. The city offers various bin sizes, different services for homes and condos, and drop-off centers. Various places and cities accept different things, and all the rules make things a bit confusing. Let’s look at a quick rundown of what the Alexandria program accepts before we get into the details. All plastic and glass bottles, jugs, jars, pails, and buckets are accepted. Yes, you can recycle your old mop bucket. But note that this does not include window glass or drinking glasses. The city just asks that you rinse all items out before recycling and leave caps on.
All plastic and glass bottles, jugs, jars, pails, and buckets are accepted. Yes, you can recycle your old mop bucket. But note that this does not include window glass or drinking glasses. The city just asks that you rinse all items out before recycling and leave caps on. Now let’s get to the good stuff. Have you ever seen those random numbers in the middle of the recycling symbols on bottle? Let’s do a quick rundown of what these numbers really mean because it turns out that many cities do not allow various items (such as plastic grocery bags and trash bags).
So… What do those numbers really mean?
Symbol 1: This stands for polyethylene terephthalate (PET). So what does this symbol mean for your blue bins outside? Throw these items in! These items include water bottles, soda bottles, and beer bottles. They also include household items mouthwash bottles, jam and peanut butter jars, bottles of salad dressing, and most plastic oil containers. Does the City of Alexandria accept these items? Yes.
Symbol 2: This symbol stands for high-density polyethylene (HDPE). These items are a little thicker. They include things like juice and milk jugs and shampoo and conditioner bottles. Yogurt and butter containers are also included in this category.
Symbol 3: This symbol stands for PVC/vinyl and includes thicker plastic bottles, like detergent bottles and cooking oil bottles. This also includes food packaging and house siding. The only thing out of here are those bottles, but be sure to rinse them out!
Symbol 4: This symbol represents low-density polyethylene (LDPE), which includes squeezable bottles, shopping bags, dry cleaning bags, and tote bags. The city of Alexandria does not accept plastic bags of any kind, but the plastic bottles are accepted.
Symbol 5: This symbol represents polypropylene (PP). To make it easy, all these items are good to go. PP containers include but are not limited to bottle caps, ketchup containers, some yogurt containers, and straws.
Symbol 6: This symbol represents another kind of plastic (who knew there were so many different types of plastic?). #6 plastics are a no-go for the curbside program.
Symbol 7: This symbol stands for miscellaneous items. This means everything else. Those blue water jugs you saved change in as a kid are #7 plastics. These are not accepted in curbside programs, but you can most likely return them to the company you received them from. They can normally recycle them or at least offer a pick-up service for them.
The City of Alexandria covers all of the bases.
The city also offers programs for those who aren’t physically capable of bringing their bins to the curb. Anyone who can’t do so can fill out a form here and return it to the address below: Resource Recovery Division
RE: Walk-Out Service Request
2900B Business Center Drive
Alexandria, VA 22314
Are you and your family recycling fanatics? Do you just need more space? No problem! Call the Solid Waste Division at (703) 746-4410 and request an exchange for your current bin or request an additional one.
Are you new to the area and unsure of when your pick-up day is? Check out this map.
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