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  • Steven Erquiza

What Can You Throw in Your Recycle Bin?

Do you know what you can and can't put in your blue can for pickup? The basic gist of it is if it's clean and dry, put it in but to be more specific, here are things you can put in your recycling bin:

Recyclable Items:

  • Paper: Newspapers, magazines, catalogues, junk mail, printer paper, envelopes, gift wrapping paper, cardboard, paper egg cartons, etc.

  • Plastic: Stiff containers like milk jugs, containers, shampoo or water bottles. Look for a stamped #1 through #7.

  • Unbroken Glass like jars and bottles (wine bottle, soft drink, etc.).

  • Metal: Beverage containers, canned goods, steel food cans, empty aerosol containers, lean aluminum food packaging - pie tins, frozen dinner trays, sheets of foil.

What happens if you throw a non-recyclable thing in the recycling bin? Well, first, let's try to avoid that because you know common sense and if you're not sure if the item is recyclable or not, then go ask google. If you accidentally throw a non-recyclable thing in the recycle bin, this happens:

  • Decreased Efficiency - The first step of the recycling process is sorting. As materials go down the line, the Green Machine equipment sorts material types using magnets, optical sorters, crushers, shakers, blowers and other methods. This machine is designed for recycling materials. Suppose a non-recyclable item is in the line. In that case, employees have to hand-pick these non-recyclable items. More non-recyclable things are on the line. The workers have to work more and be cautious about sharp objects that can harm them.

  • Damage to Equipment (and danger to employees) - Non-recyclable materials can cause the equipment to jam up or break down. Even things like small pieces of broken Glass can cause trouble as our employees have to hand-pick them.

  • Contamination of Recyclable Materials - Contaminated recyclable material presents several problems. First, it can attract pests and create unsanitary conditions. Second, it causes the salability of processed recyclable loads to decrease. Suppose an entire load of recyclable materials reaches the buyer but is contaminated by one thing. In that case, the whole shipment will be turned away!

  • Environmental Issues - Recycling the wrong materials can actually cause harm to the environment. First, non-recyclable materials have to get transferred from the recycling facility to the landfill. That is an extra trip we could have avoided if the non-recyclable material had been put in the garbage to begin with.

Please consider checking what you throw in the recycling bin to make it safer for the employees in the recycling facilities and keep our environment clean.


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