A growing number of people think recycling — rather than “throwing away” — is a sound idea that leads us to more sustainable practices.
To support this, more municipal governments and waste management companies make the recycling process easier by offering”single-source” collection services. This makes it far easier for recyclers to collect and deposit recyclable materials. This means newspapers, plastic bottles, cans and glass can be deposited together,
In Denver, for instance, single-source recycling collection is provided by the city, which works with Texas-based Waste Management.
Participating households are provided with a large recycling container, which is picked up every two weeks at the curb or in the alley.
Unfortunately, too many recyclers don’t properly take care of the materials they send out for recycling, or they include materials that can’t be recycled.
Here are some examples:
- Plastic bottles are fine, but most lids cannot be recycled. Just take them off.
- Plastic packaging that does not have a recycle logo stamped on it
- Pizza boxes usually contain grease or oil from the cheese and meat. These contaminants make the box no better than trash.
- Cans or plastic containers that have not been partially cleansed. Remember, you don’t need to clean recycled materials like you would the dishes. However, it will be next to impossible to recycle a full jar of peanut butter or jelly.
- Junk containing more than one material — ring-bound plastic notebooks, for instance.
At the Waste Management recycling center in Denver, magnetic devices and chutes are used to separate items. Employees also help in the separating work at hand. Be considerate about what you toss in the recycling bin.
This is a great sustainable practice, but businesses like Waste Management aren’t around to recycle for free. They are running a business and deserve your respect.
Images via Waste Management and Denver Recycles