It’s recycling day and you are about to put your bin out to the curb. You try to be as helpful as possible, so you placed all of your newspapers in a plastic bag to keep them together and dry.
The curbside truck comes by and is able to grab all of your newspapers and toss the bag into the proper section of the truck.
This is a good thing, right?
Actually, once all of that newspaper is dumped at the Recycling Center, employees must manually sort through the tons of paper that come through to find contamination — which includes plastic bags. Every time someone puts their newspaper in a bag trying to be helpful, several hours of work must be done to find those bags in the pile of papers so they can be removed.
And when the bags are tied shut…well that’s just another step trying to get the newspapers out of the bag.
Why is this important? We could spend hours preparing a semi trailer load of newspapers to ship for sale. If the load is contaminated, we will not be paid for the load and have to pay shipping to have the load returned. All the time and effort spent is lost…and then some.
I recently spent just a few hours helping sort through a mountain of newspaper at the center and it is a very time consuming process that could be avoided. The same process takes place when any other material is placed in plastic bags, such as aluminum or metal cans. This is where your help is needed!
The Bottom Line
We appreciate your desire to help. If you will follow these two simple guidelines, you truly WILL be helping the recycling center staff be more productive!
If you use curbside, please do NOT separate your items using bags of any kind. (Wet newspaper CAN be recycled.)
If you bring your items to the recycling center separated in bags, please dump your items OUT of the bags and deposit your plastic bags in the containers labeled “Plastic Bags.”
I speak for the staff at the Recycling Center when I say, THANK YOU!
By: Lynne Hart