Single Stream recycling, the most common option for many waste haulers allows customers to put all their recycling in a single container that is then transferred to a recycling center and separated by a team of specialists.
Contamination is the biggest problem facing current recycling practices today. People throw in things they shouldn’t, like grease-soaked cardboard, plastic bags, or paint cans, and then the entire load needs to be dumped. If it ends up at the recycling center, all pieces in proximity to the contamination can be removed as well, causing slowdowns and strain on the facility.
It’s incredibly important you know what you can recycle and what you can’t.
NOTE: THE FOLLOWING LIST IS NOT LOCATION SPECIFIC. Contact your local branch or recycling center to find a list of accepted materials for your recycling center.
ACCEPTED: Plastic Recycling
Includes all CLEANED plastic bottles and jars #1 thru #7: soft drink bottles, milk jugs, detergent bottles, FLATTENED cartons, etc. Check the bottom of the container. If you see the recycling symbol with a #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 in the center, it is acceptable.
ACCEPTED: Metal Recycling
Includes aluminum cans, pie and baking pans, tin cans, steel food containers, EMPTY aerosol cans, and lids. Metal beverage cans, baking tins, foil, and food containers are also included in this material category.
All items must be CLEAN OF FOOD.
ACCEPTED: Cardboard Recycling
Includes corrugated cardboard, shipping boxes, cereal and dry food boxes, shoe boxes, tissue boxes, moving boxes, detergent boxes, soda/beer cartons, and paper towel/toilet tissue rolls.
All boxes MUST BE FLATTENED for proper disposal.
ACCEPTED: Paper Recycling
Includes newspapers, inserts, labels, magazines, catalogs, paperback books, manila folders, letterhead, notebook paper (no backings), computer paper, envelopes (with windows), coupon books, index cards, calendars, and brown paper bags.
SOMETIMES ACCEPTED: Glass recycling
NOTE: Many areas are no longer accepting glass. This is the biggest one to look for before recycling. Glass has become incredibly expensive to recycle and many facilities are no longer taking it, so always double check. If it is accepted, it usually includes:
Bottles and jars. Lids must be removed from the container and separated before being placed inside the container. All liquid and food waste must be removed before being recycled.
DO NOT RECYCLE:
Styrofoam, window glass and mirrors, electronic waste (TVs and computers), motor oil containers, yard waste, chemical containers, shredded paper, plastic bags, ceramics or dishes, food waste, scrap metal, monitors.