Did you know…
- 69% of plastic bottles don’t get recycled?
- Plastic bags can shut down an entire recycling plant?
- Soggy items can spoil a whole load of recycling?
Single Stream Recycling is easy and convenient, which has helped drive increased participation, volume and landfill diversion rates. That convenience comes at a cost, however, as recycled materials are often contaminated. Consumers are sometimes confused about what is accepted at recycling facilities, and this is causing the recycling industry to experience high contamination rates.
What does that mean? Recycling contamination is when incorrect items or materials are put in the system or when the correct materials are prepared the wrong way (for example, food residue in containers, recyclables in plastic bags). In the end, contaminated recycling often gets rejected and sent to a landfill, resulting in a wasted recycling effort altogether. Nauset Disposal is dedicated to educating our customers on what can be recycled, preparation of items before they go into the bin, and what to do with items that cannot go in the bin, so we can be sure the materials we collect ARE recycled.
Here’s a list of the 5 most common contaminants for reference.
- Plastic Bags: Keep these out of your recycling container to ensure machines at the recycling facility don’t get clogged.
- Food Waste: Be sure to empty and rinse containers that held food well so there are no food remnants left.
- Hazardous Waste: Containers for paint, automotive fluids or pesticides should be disposed of separately. Check out the Barnstable County Cooperative Extension website for a town by town schedule of hazardous waste disposal.
- Frozen Food Containers: It may look like cardboard, but freezer boxes actually have an exterior coating that prevents it from being recyclable.
- Unrinsed or Metal Capped Glass: Be sure to rinse wine or beer bottles before adding them to your recycling bin, and if a glass container has a cap, put it into the bin separately (unattached).