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Anchorage

Anchorage will start recycling plastic 'clamshell'-style containers

The Municipality of Anchorage announced Wednesday that residents in both the Solid Waste Services and Alaska Waste pickup areas can now start adding PETE No. 1 containers to their bins. (Travis Smith / Solid Waste Services)

If you have curbside recycling, you won't have to send your clear, plastic "clamshell"-style containers to the landfill anymore.

The Municipality of Anchorage announced Wednesday that residents in both the Solid Waste Services and Alaska Waste pickup areas can now start adding PETE No. 1 containers to their bins.

Those include hinged containers for apples, clear strawberry or blueberry cartons and clear plastic cups.

However, drop-off recycling locations still won't accept the containers. Only No. 1 plastic bottles — not clamshells — are accepted at those locations.

Anchorage's curbside recycling is bundled and sent to the Lower 48 for sorting. Sorting practices and the price of recyclables have shifted, which is why the clamshell containers are now being collected, according to Travis Smith, recycling coordinator for the municipality.

"As markets develop, now there's a demand," he said in an interview Tuesday.

Last year, approximately 5,965 tons of recycling were collected through curbside pickups, up slightly from the previous year. Smith wasn't sure how much the amount would increase with the addition of the new containers.

"Whenever you accept new material there's bound to be an increase," he said. "But we'll have to wait and see."

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