Changes in Recycling Industry Mean Changes in How We Recycle at Home
Recycling has become a way of life for many Americans. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, more than 34% of garbage is recycled. However, recycling as we know it is at a critical crossroads. The current recycling model is no longer sustainable or viable. Read More
What does this mean for you?
Shifts in the waste management industry are resulting in a complete overhaul in recycling methods and collection that are hitting close to home. Republic Services will continue to collect recycling however, immediate actions will change how and what is recycled through the curbside collection service.
The biggest issue affecting consumer recycling today is contamination. Things like plastic bags, organic matter (food, liquid and yard waste), rubber hoses, wires and low-grade plastics can contaminate recycling and cause recyclable items to be landfilled.
Curbside recycling materials that are contaminated with items that cannot be processed or have not been properly cleaned cause havoc at recycling facilities by increasing sorting time, causing damage to recycling equipment and decreasing the value of commodities. It has become necessary to shift the recycling model to make recycling sustainable.
The main thing residents can do to help are:
- Sort smarter – learn what can and cannot be recycled
- Do not place food waste in recycling containers – including pizza boxes!
- Do not use plastic bags for recyclables
- Make sure items are empty, clean and dry
In the coming months, Republic Services’ route drivers will be checking the contents of recycling carts prior to collection. Any contamination will result in a tag with instructions. Residents will be required to remove all contaminated recycling prior to being serviced on their next collection day.
For more information, contact the Public Works Department at 847-870-5640.