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Vol. LX, No. 5
March 07, 2008

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NIH Recycling Program Updates

NIH has rolled out several new recycling initiatives that will help meet new requirements, increase the recycling rate and reduce solid waste disposal.

There is now a single paper collection container, which replaces the old white office paper and mixed paper boxes. The new container is labeled “All Paper Products.” Acceptable items for recycling include white paper (any color ink), office stationery, copier paper, white and green/white computer paper, newspaper, shredded paper, magazines, envelopes, colored paper, manila folders, Post-it notes, telephone books, kraft paper and all other clean, dry paper. According to new county regulations, no paper products are allowed in regular trash. Look for your closest recycling container. Plastic recycling at NIH has consisted mainly of beverage containers placed into commingled collection bins. Plastic recycling is now greatly expanded. Products and empty containers labeled with resin codes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 are now acceptable. Resin codes can be found on the bottom of plastic containers.

Besides plastic beverage containers, you can now recycle empty plastic food product containers of any shape and size, detergent bottles, food storage containers, plastic food utensils, grocery and retail plastic bags, blister packs, shrink wrap, bubble wrap, trash can liners, produce/newspaper/bread/frozen food bags and food-storage containers. Polystyrene products, resin code 6, are not acceptable. All items must be free of food residue and contamination from hazardous chemicals, radioactive materials or infectious substances—no empty containers that previously contained such substances are accepted. Items must fit into the commingled recycling collection containers.

The separate aluminum can containers are being phased out. Aluminum cans are now to be placed into the commingled containers for recycling.

Paperboard is a recyclable item that is often disposed of as trash. Examples include microwave dinner boxes, Kleenex boxes, paper towel and file folder boxes. Paperboard must be recycled with cardboard. Paperboard and cardboard are collected from building corridors and loading docks.

Want to learn more about how and what to recycle at NIH? The NIH Environmental Management System (NEMS) web site is the best source for information:

Do you have ideas on how to improve the recycling program or comments on any environmental issue? Join the NIH Greenserve where employees can post environmental ideas and questions. Visit to join.

If you have questions about recycling issues or need recycling containers for your work area, call the ORF Division of Environmental Protection at (301) 496-7990. NIHRecord Icon

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