Citrus Heights to Kick-Off “Energy Bag” Plastics-to-Energy Pilot Program with Community Announcement Event

Citrus Heights, CA. – May 13, 2014 – The City of Citrus Heights will officially kick off their three-month Energy Bag pilot program to convert non-recycled plastics to energy with a public event Saturday, May 17, from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on the City Hall grounds. Community leaders and industry representatives will speak, and there will be information about the program, displays, and interactive games.  All ages are invited.

Co-sponsored by The City of Citrus Heights, Republic Services and The Dow Chemical Company, The Energy Bag Program aims to prove that resource recovery of non-recycled plastics is a viable municipal process that can achieve many positive long-term environmental and economic results, including fewer tons of landfill trash, more local energy resources and less energy dependence.

"Recycling is a priority in the City of Citrus Heights. We are proud to be the first city in America leading the Energy Bag initiative, said Citrus Heights Mayor Mel Turner. “At the end of the day, it's about doing the right thing."

The summer-long program will ask approximately 27,000 Citrus Heights households to separately collect plastic items not currently eligible for recycling in the city. These items include juice pouches, candy wrappers, dog food and cat food bags, frozen food wrappers, outer wraps for water bottles or soda packages and even plastic dinnerware, plates and cups. Bright purple “Energy Bags” will be distributed to the pilot households to be used exclusively for collecting these plastics. After each bi-weekly recycling collection during the summer, these bags will be separated and sent to a sorting depot and then to the energy conversion facility, Agilyx Corporation, the industry leader in waste plastic to oil conversion technology.   

"Republic Services is excited to be a sponsor in the Energy Bag Program,” said Josie Kalbakian, Community Relations Manager, Republic Services of Sacramento. “Every single purple bag of plastics recovered will be turned into energy - that's an exciting story for our team and The City of Citrus Heights."

The Energy Bag Program represents a first step toward an important change in the way we think of waste.  Recent EPA statistics state that the U.S. creates over 250 million tons of trash each year, with more than half ending up in landfills. Recognizing California’s strident landfill diversion mandate, The Energy Bag Program hopes to offer one very attractive diversionary option – turning the non-recycled plastics into a valuable energy resource.

Jeff Wooster, Global Sustainability Leader at The Dow Chemical Company, and a long-time advocate of resource recovery technologies, praised these efforts:   “We are proud to be part of this exciting and unique pilot program. It is only through collaboration that we can build a sustainable future. Plastics are a valuable resource and through Energy Recovery we can recover the embedded energy content. There is no reason to continue to send plastics items that cannot be mechanically recycled to the landfill, when we can recover them for energy.”