Mayor's Office of Communications
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Atlanta Expands Recycling Program to Include Paper Cups with New Partnership

Ten municipalities, including 350,000 area residents, can now recycle paper cups through community curbside recycling program

ATLANTA— Curbside recycling carts across the city of Atlanta now welcome even more recyclables. Atlanta joins other communities like Denver and Washington, D.C. by adding paper cups to its recycling program. The City now has the 11th community recycling program to partner with the Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI) to include paper cups.

"Atlanta is committed to growing its opportunities for recycling," said Kanika Greenlee, Director of Solid Waste. "FPI's grant helps us educate our community, which includes over 98,000 households in the City of Atlanta, to participate in paper cup recycling. We encourage residents to clean and empty their paper beverage cups, like coffee and soda cups, and place them in their recycling cart or drop them off at one of the county's recycling centers."

Paper cups are collected and then sorted at a material recovery facility. Recycled paper, including paper cups, is then sent to paper mills to make new recycled-content products, such as paper board, tissue and container board.

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"We applaud this important recycling initiative for our city and look forward to helping create a more sustainable future for the communities we serve," said Hadley Laughlin, senior project lead of sustainability for Chick-fil-A, Inc. "At Chick-fil-A, we strive to be good stewards of the planet we share, and it is our pleasure as members of the Foodservice Packaging Institute to support the expansion of recovery of paper foodservice ware, such as our hot beverage cups and grilled nugget bowls, in the City of Atlanta"

To increase awareness, the City will launch an outreach campaign featuring a recycling education video, social media content and outdoor advertisements with support from a communications grant from FPI. The campaign will highlight the addition of paper cups and remind residents that all recyclables should be clean and empty when placed in recycling carts.

"Atlanta is a leader in its recycling efforts by adding paper cups to its program and raising awareness of recycling foodservice packaging items," said Natha Dempsey, President of FPI. "We are proud to partner with the city and our FPI members to support this partnership to enable residents to recycle rather than dispose of these items."

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To learn more and see a list of all items accepted for recycling, visit To learn more about FPI, visit


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