It is important to be conscious when recycling because the wrong item in a recycling bin can create many problems. Workers from Scottsdale recycling center have been complaining that conveyor belts are moving much slower than they used to. The reason is the time that they waste picking the trash out.
Richard Coupland, from Republic Services, explains that problem is much bigger then it seems “Everything meant for recycling has to be empty, clean and dry”, he says, “one dirty jar can contaminate thousands of items around it and then everything dirty ends up in the trash, wasting both time and material”.
Materials that can be recycled are cardboard, plastic, aluminum, and paper. Cleanliness is essential. Everything has to be empty and rinsed out.
What can be recycled:
1. Soup, veggie and coffee cans, aluminum foils and bakeware
2. Cardboard, magazines, newspaper, tissues, milk and juice cartons, phone books (glossy paper can be recycled too)
3. Clear glass (bottles and jars), brown glass (common for beer bottles), green glass
3. Plastic bottles, jars, and jugs
4. Light Bulbs and Batteries (not mixed with other recyclables)
5. Electronics also can’t be mixed with other recyclables, but are easy to recycle through alternative options
What can’t be recycled:
1. Anything dirty or contaminated with food
2. Soda or juice bottles that are not empty
4. Heat resistant glass, broken glass, mirrors, windows, crystal
5. Plastic bags and sacks
Coupland suggests how to help on a daily basis “We can’t use the greasy bottom of the pizza box. What you can do to help, is to separate the clean part of the box for recycling and throw the rest away. Take a moment to rinse a jar or empty a soda bottle.”
China is the huge market for the recyclable material and the best paying one too. Because of acceptable criteria as low as 0.5%, Scottsdale recycling center has to sell to other markets that are not able to pay the same value.
It is crucial to raise awareness and to educate people on how to recycle, because without the right knowledge, even with good intentions you can harm.