It’s the New Year time for those resolutions: This year resolve to be a better recycler!
We have a saying here at American: “Know the NO’s”. That means that it is just as important to know what items CANNOT go into your recycling bin, as what CAN.
By “Knowing the NOs” and sticking to these resolutions you can guarantee you are recycling correctly!
Just say “NO” to these top 3 contaminants by vowing to NEVER put them in your recycling bin!
PLASTIC BAGS and FILMS:
Never put plastic bags and anything made from a “film” (such as plastic shrink wrap, bubble wrap, Ziploc bags, newspaper bags, trash bags, etc.) into your recycling bin!
Bags and films are the NUMBER ONE contaminant in the Recycling industry.
They wrap around the large rotating gears in the recycling sorting machinery, causing the entire recycling center to shut down until they are removed!
These items can only be recycled by bringing them to plastic bag drop-off locations found at grocery stores, Walmart, Target etc.
So save or reuse your plastic bags at home until you can make a trip to drop them off for proper recycling!
The 2nd largest contaminant commonly found at recycling facilities is…..Diapers.
Please keep diapers OUT of your recycling bin! Whether dirty OR clean Diapers are NOT Single Stream recyclable-these need to be disposed of in your trash can.
Although there are some experimental recycling techniques for diapers being tested throughout the world, they are still in the early stages, as of right now, they still need to be disposed of as trash in Virginia.
CHRISTMAS LIGHTS, HOSES, WIRES, CABLES… (*Any long item that can wrap around rotating gears and recycling sorting equipment)
It isn’t only during the holiday season that we see items like Christmas lights: in the summer we see garden hoses and year-round we see wires, cables chains and strapping are incorrectly disposed of as Recycling.
Although some of these items may seem to be recyclable due to some of their material – they are definitely NOT- due to their length and flexible nature.
Any item that could wrap around the rotating gears at the facility needs to be disposed of as TRASH or re-used in some way, but should NEVER be put into your recycling bin.
The rotating gears inside recycling processing facilities are much like the bottom of a vacuum, (only on a MUCH larger scale) the same way that a long piece of yard would get wound up in the gears of a vacuum causing it to jam and malfunction is exactly what happens when wires, hoses and Christmas lights end up at our facility. Be sure to keep these items out of your recycling bin!