Starbucks is testing a new recycling program at its 86 locations in New York City, a nine-week trial that company officials hope will eventually lead to the recycling of the 3 billion cups used by the chain
annually in the U.S. The company has added separate recycling bins just for cups — and not other recyclables — that are then picked up by the same hauling company that collects the company’s cardboard recyclables each night. By including the cup pickup in the existing loads, the company will not have to add new truck routes, said Jim Hanna, Starbucks’ director of environmental impact. The cups will be sent to a paper mill, where they will be converted into pulp used for paper towels and other products. During the trial, the company will test whether recycling the cups is profitable for the paper mill and whether the cups can be collected separately without customers tossing other trash into the cup recycling bin.