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Why Do I Have To Separate My Recycling?

Jul 5, 2020 | Contamination, Trash Talk

It’s about to get trashy…

For many years, many communities in our district comingled their materials into one bin for all of their plastic, metal and glass. Some communities separated their materials out and probably haven’ seen a comingle bin.

Recently, the District has undertaken the daunting task of updating our recycling sites with new bins and labels. These labels now require residents to separate their materials into 5 separate categories below:


Why are we asking everyone to separate their materials!? Thanks for asking. Believe it or not, we get a lot of calls on this so I thought I would give you the inside scoop.

1) Co-mingled bins were just glorified trash dumpsters. We have had couches, beds, mattresses, building materials, etc… thrown into our bins. We can only recycle what’s on the labels. Please follow them exactly. Place only the items pictured and requested on the label.

2) The extra cost of contamination was doubling our costs which was not sustainable

3) Separating the material allows us to identify contamination easier and earlier. If we are able to remove an item from the bin earlier, this can lead to lower costs.

4) The problem isn’t what truck the materials are dumped into but how you as the resident put your recyclable material into the bin. We can only accept clean material. 

Recycling is good for all of us. Help us to ensure your recycling is recycled.



  1. Randy Neubauer

    I was diligent in separating commingle from cardboard & paper. Now typically because of a few bad apples you decide to force everyone to more effort. Well I don’t spend my time separating all my trash to save you from any effort. Plus no plastic bags. How am I supposed to get my trash to the bins. You lost me. I’ll still bring my cardboard to recycle and maybe paper (minuscule) but the rest is headed to the landfill. Too bad.

    • Steve Tharp

      Randy, Thanks for reaching out to us. Earlier this spring, 75% of our loads were trash. People were putting unimaginable items in our bins. In addition, we were paying over $20,000 extra a month on top of our regular monthly fee. This was unsustainable. We are asking residents to not place their plastic bags inside the bins. It’s a contaminate that causes major problems in the machines at the Material Recovery Facility. We just ask that you dump your clean recycling as stated on the labels into our bin and taking your plastic bag home to either reuse or throw away. We will be sending out our newsletter here in a month or so which should help to clear up some of our changes. Thanks for reaching out to us as we value this kind of feedback.


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