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DC is looking for ways to reduce the city's waste. Here's how we can help make a positive impact on our community

Bring your recyclables to WUSA9's #EnvironmentMatters Recycling Day on Feb. 26

WASHINGTON — We are just five days out from our WUSA9 #EnvironmentMatters Recycle Day event. This week we want to share ways we can all help to keep our planet clean and make a positive impact in our communities.

Blake Adams manages Zero Waste D.C. With the D.C. Department of Public Works.

“We really have been working hard in the city to educate and inform residents about what can be recycled so that means leaving items that are recyclable clean and loose in the recycling can without a bag. That’s the main thing, is reducing plastic bags because they are not recyclable," said Adams.

D.C. currently produces 1.13 million tons of waste each year. Adams said that 16% of that waste is recycled. Their goal is to increase that number to 80% of waste recycled or diverted every year.

The Zero Waste D.C. initiative started six years ago.

Part of the program helps people to better understand some of the misconceptions about throwing out trash versus recycling.

"Not everything is recyclable so we really encourage residents to educate themselves and to visit our website to learn more about what is and what isn’t recyclable," said Adams.

All glass, metal, plastics and paper products can be recycled. It is important to remember, not to toss them out in plastic bags, which are not recyclable.

RELATED: #EnvironmentMatters | Facilities where you can recycle and dispose of waste in DMV area

RELATED: Bring your recyclables to WUSA9's #EnvironmentMatters Recycling Day on Feb. 26

"This year, we will be kicking off the development of our 'Zero Waste D.C.' plan, something I’m really personally excited about. It’s going to be essentially the city's framework for how to achieve zero waste moving forward. Everything we have to do between now and 2032 to achieve zero waste policy, that means policy, programs, initiatives, incentives and all of that so I’m really excited about that," said Adams.

If you’re not sure if something you’re putting in your bin can be recycled, the Department of Public Works has a “what goes where" tool or you can search the product and it will tell you where to recycle it.

"Be conscious about the products you are purchasing. The best thing to do is to purchase recyclable or compostable products, especially food service ware and encourage our local businesses that you’re buying products from to do the same," said Adams.

Don’t forget, if you have any paint or electronics you need to be recycled or, any paper you need shredded, join WUSA9 on Feb. 26 from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. in D.C., Maryland or Virginia.

Here's where you'll be able to participate:

  1. The Shops at Dakota Crossing, located at 2438 Market St. Northeast in D.C.
  2. Paint Branch High School, located at 12121 Old Columbia Pike in Burtonsville, Md.
    • Our partners from Securis, Yuck Old Pain and Clean Cut Shredding will help collect your recyclables.
  3. Dulles Town Center, located at 2110 Dulles Town Circle in Sterling, Va. 
    • Items will be collected from our partners at Securis, Yuck Old Paint and True Shred.

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