After dinner last night at a local tavern, I asked the waiter for a container to carry home our leftovers.  He promptly returned with a No. 5 plastic container (damn!).  Have you ever looked at the carry-out containers you receive from your local restaurants?  Are they made of a recyclable material?  Are they made of a recyclable material that the city you live in will actually recycle? 

According to the District of Columbia Office of Recycling, “carry-out containers” are not allowed in recycling bins.  I propose that we petition the City Council to pass a law requiring either the Office of Recycling to accept and recycle carry-out containers or that all restauranters or vendors using carry-out containers must find a container that will be accepted and recycled by the Office of Recycling. 

What happens in your city?

Ruth Long, MA, MPH is a research associate with the GWU School of Public Health & Health Services.  She lives on Capitol Hill with her husband and toddler.