(Washington, DC) To better serve the District’s diverse business community, the Department of Public Works' (DPW) free Commercial Recycling Guide is now available online in Spanish.
Every year, the District of Columbia produces over 800,000 tons of trash. According to DPW’s Office of Recycling, approximately 70 percent of that amount is generated by commercial sources. Disposal of all that waste is an expensive part of doing business, costing companies many thousands of dollars every year in collection and dumping fees. Additionally, there are environmental costs associated with burning or burying our trash and garbage.
By decreasing the amount of trash going directly into the District's "waste stream,” businesses can save money while improving our region's environmental health.
To reduce the amount of waste going to landfills and incinerators, the District requires all businesses to recycle. Recycling is simply a way to reclaim usable resources—paper, plastics, glass and metals—instead of throwing them away. Diverting these resources cuts down on pollution and decreases the need for more waste facilities in or near our communities.
DC Recycling Requirements
Any premises not authorized to receive municipal trash and recycling collection services is considered a business or commercial establishment. Recycling is required in all commercial establishments. These include office buildings, churches, retailers, warehouses, apartment buildings (with four or more units) as well as co-ops and condominiums, service companies, bars and restaurants, as well as museums, associations, nonprofit organizations and universities.
Recyclables should be free of contaminants such as paint, animal waste, food and garbage.
Recyclable materials include the following:
- Paper—newspaper, magazines, office paper, flyers, cardboard, mail, envelopes (except Tyvek®)
Cans—aluminum, steel and tin cans
- Glass—brown, green and clear glass bottles and jars