Recycling Bins Being Added to Bi-Level Trains

Last month we told you all about the sustainability efforts underway at Amtrak, and you had just one question for us: Where are the recycling bins on trains?

In fact, one customer told us, “As someone who ONLY travels by Amtrak now, I see an incredible amount of trash thrown away and nothing getting recycled.” You’re right. We hear you, and we’re ready to change that.

Amtrak Recycling Bins

We’ve been working to solve our onboard-recycling challenge, and we’re excited to announce we’ve made some important steps. You can now find permanent recycling receptacles in all café and lounge cars, on Acela first class and café cars, the Auto Train, and some California routes, as well as most stations.

In addition, the first Superliner coach car, which travels outside of the East Coast, left our biggest maintenance facility recently outfitted with new permanent recycling receptacles on board and ready for your empty bottles, paper and other recyclable materials. If you’ve got travel plans in the near future, keep an eye out for the bins at the top of the stairs in our bi-level coach cars. Once we have all of those cars outfitted, we’ll move on to the next phase of equipment.

“We want to provide our customers with easy access to recycling,” says Craig Caldwell, environmental superintendent at Amtrak. “With the installation of the recycling stations in the Superliner coaches and plans for additional types of equipment, we are one step closer to that goal.”

Amtrak Recycles Logo

We’ll be honest. When we first heard your complaints about a lack of recycling options onboard, we figured it would be an easy fix. Since then we’ve learned a lot about Food and Drug Administration and Federal Railroad Administration rules related to the bins we wanted to install. With earlier prototypes, we also noticed that passengers liked the bins’ flat tops so much that they were using them as work stations for their laptops, blocking other customers’ access to the top of the cans.

We’re wiser now. The new bins we’re installing are safely secured to the train, have rounded edges as an extra precaution and even have sloped tops to discourage laptops.


What do you think of our recycling efforts so far? Tell us in the comments below!