Recycling Right - You Can Help!

Recycling Right - You Can Help!Recycle Right 1

Participation in residential recycling continues to increase, so we thank each and every one of you. Unfortunately, the state of recycling programs across the country and the world have never been more precarious than they are right now, due to a substantial decrease in the value and demand for the materials we put in the recycling carts. While there are several contributing factors, the problem is not your participation (quantity), but the iinadvertent contamination collected in the recycling carts (quality).

Contamination does more to harm the process of recycling than most people know. Even a little food waste, liquid waste, yard waste or other seemingly incidental contamination can cause an entire truck load of residential recycling to be corrupted beyond the capability of extracting marketable materials. This “incidental contamination” is usually because of “wish-cycling”, or the practice of tossing questionable items into the recycling bin, hoping they can somehow be recycled.

For more information on wish-cycling refer to:
So what can you do? Here is a list of the most common types of contaminates to avoid placing in your recycling cart:

• Food waste (compost it instead or otherwise put it in the trash)
• Food soiled paper, cardboard, cans or plastics (like pizza boxes, napkins, paper plates & butter tubs)
• Liquids of any kind
• Textiles (like rugs, carpet, bedding or clothes)
• Electronics (donate or take to a responsible E-waste recycler)
• Hoses, extension cords, holiday lights, and clothes hangers
• Plastic bags, film, sheeting or membranes (these are notorious for clogging recycling facilities)
• Yard waste, dirt, wood, concrete, brick or other construction debris
• Polystyrene Foam (to-go containers and cups)
• Scrap metal, auto parts and tires (use a local scrap metal recycler or retail tire store)

Remember: When in doubt, throw it out! - If not, you could be “wasting” all your efforts.