Due to the inclusion of forbidden items in recycling bins, there have been multiple instances in which these bins were rejected for disposal by the appropriate services on Fort Leonard Wood.
As a reminder, here are the top 11 recycling contaminants that must not go in the bin.
There should be…
— No plastic bags. They are the worst contaminant in the recycling bin. When placed in a curbside bin, they get wet and dirty and cannot be recycled. Plastic bags marked with number 2 or 4 can be recycled at an alternate location.
— No materials in plastic bags. Workers have to slow the conveyor belts to rip open bags that contain recyclables and then add the bag to the heap of bags bound for the landfill.
— No plastic lids or caps. Plastic lids and caps are not recyclable on or off the bottle.
— No glass. It can break easily and pose a safety hazard while being separated.
— No non-recyclable plastics. Styrofoam is an example. Check local guidelines to see an entire list of recyclable plastics.
— No liquids. When compacting bottles for shipping, liquids drip and splatter on the floor, creating a sticky substance with an odor. Empty and rinse all containers.
—No ceramics or non-recyclable glass. Ceramic, china, dishes, mirrors, light bulbs, glassware, porcelain, and windows should not go in the bin. They have different melting points and chemical compositions, which can ruin new glass bottles.
— No diapers or bio-hazardous waste. Syringes and needles, diapers and other sanitary products are not recyclable or compostable.
— No hazardous waste. Paint, automotive fluids, car batteries and lawn chemicals must be taken to an approved recycling center.
— No scrap metal. Scrap metal items of any size should not go in the curbside bin. They cause heavy damage to recycling equipment.
— No frozen food boxes. Freezer foods, such as pizza and entrees, have a plastic polymer sprayed on them to protect against freezer burn. That coating prevents the box from breaking up in the recycling process. They are not recyclable or compostable.
(Editor’s note: Sweeney is an Exceptional Family Member Program navigator.)