SpotlightDC-funded Investigation Shows DC Sends Most Recycling To Dumps -- And Rates Are Dropping
District residents diligently separate trash into separate bins: one for landfill and the other – they are led to believe -- to be recycled, reused, repurposed. But an investigative series funded by SpotlightDC
and published in Capital Community News
- Less than 25% of DC’s trash gets recycled, well below the accepted national average of 30%.
- Despite Mayor Bowser’s rhetoric about “Zero Waste,” the actual percentage of recycling is dropping every year.
- 90% of trash separated for recycling in large apartment buildings actually goes to landfills or incinerators.
- DC’s DPW rarely inspects waste streams to enforce recycling rules.
Journalist Mark Smith trailed trash trucks, inspected transfer stations, toured recycling facilities, unearthed documents and interviewed dozens of sources to expose the systemic failures built into DC’s system to adequately recycle waste. His reporting is also pointing out how the District can actually improve its dismal recycling record.
Thanks to your contributions this investigative series will force the District to monitor and improve its recycling system so your efforts to separate waste will not be in vain!