Contamination: What’s the big deal?


“What is going on with recycling?” “Why can’t I put this plastic in your bin?” “I’ve always been putting these in the recycling!” “You don’t take mattresses? I’ve always left them there”?

We have heard it all. We want to make recycling easier for you. Let’s give you a few things to consider when recycling:

1) Make sure your items are CLEAN, DRY, EMPTY. Food, liquids and other items found in your “recycling” may contaminate an entire load of recyclables.

2) PLASTIC BAGS ARE HUGE PROBLEMS. Consider what happens when you throw a plastic bag in a plastic bottles and jugs bin. This bag contaminates the load. It gets shipped to a Material Recovery Facility. Goes through a recycling sorter and finally stuck inside of a machine. This requires the company to shut down its process, place the machine out of order using lock out tag out procedures and can place employees lives at risk when removing plastic bags from inside the gears and machine.

3) Just because it’s a plastic doesn’t mean it’s recyclable. For example, we see plastic toys placed in our bins. While we appreciate the desire to recycle, placing only items clearly marked on the bins is important. Always follow the instructions on the bins and signs located at your public drop off.

These signs will be appearing at sites all over the district. Make sure you read them carefully to ensure we have clean recycling. 

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