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What is Recycling Contamination?

Recycling does a lot to help out the environment but must be done carefully and correctly. Often, homeowners who truly want to make a difference by recycling accidentally “break the rules,” rendering their contribution null and void. You can avoid this problem by understanding exactly what recycling contamination is and how it affects your city’s recycling system.

What Exactly is Recycling Contamination?

Recycling contamination refers to any type of recycling where foreign objects are present. It occurs in two primary ways:

1. Non-recyclable materials are mixed in with recyclable materials.

Many people keep two bins in their kitchen: one for trash and one for recycling. However, what often happens is that in the homeowner’s rush to clean up or get out the door, trash items end up in the recycling bin. Old food, broken toys, batteries, etc. get mixed in with the paper or glass inside the recycling bin.

As important as it is to keep your recycling free of non-hazardous trash, it is even more important to ensure you do not recycle hazardous waste. Hazardous contamination includes mixing diapers, syringes, feminine products, etc. with your recycling.

On the other side of the coin, recyclable materials often end up in the trash can, increasing unnecessary waste.

2. Materials are not properly cleaned before being recycled.

This problem typically occurs with food containers. Before throwing away a jar, bottle, or carton, give it a good rinse to eliminate any extra food stuck to the side. A little food can contaminate a whole load of recycling and send a lot of material to the landfill.

What’s the Big Problem?

You might be wondering what the big deal is if a few wrong items get mixed in with the recycling. Can’t your local recycling facility simply sort it all out? To some extent, they can. However, if every household that recycles produces “a little contamination,” the time to sort it all out quickly adds up. Highly contaminated recycling usually can’t be salvaged, and it all gets sent to the landfill anyway.

Good recycling begins at the source, and that means it begins with you. Don’t let your efforts go to waste. Make the effort to clean, sort, and categorize your recycling. Make sure you follow your local recycling laws. Not only does this help the recycling industry run far more efficiently, but it also ensures that your effort to help the environment means something.

If you live in New York, check out the recycling laws here.

Who Are We, and How Can We Help?

Sustainability is at The Forefront of Everything We Do – We utilize only the most advanced waste diversion strategies for your business. Striving to create environmentally responsible recycling solutions for all our clients, Royal Waste removes waste from your location and helps convert it to new products and commodities wherever possible. Our dedicated customer support team ensures any dumpster rental is conveniently suited to meet your exact needs. Call us today.

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