What do equipment downtime, excessive maintenance, added labor costs and reduced commodity values all have in common? They all can result from contamination in the recycling stream.
Follow these simple rules to keep the recycling stream clean and the Boulder County Recycling Center operating efficiently:
1. NO LOOSE PLASTIC BAGS AND NO MATERIAL IN PLASTIC BAGS
Plastic bags get tangled up in the sorting equipment wreaking havoc on the sort line. Clean, dry, empty plastic bags can be dropped off at some grocery stores or at the CHarM Center located at 6400 Arapahoe.
2. NO FLATTENED CONTAINERS
Automated sorting equipment separates flat material from dimensional containers. Flattened containers (aluminum cans, cartons, etc.) get sorted as paper potentially decreasing the market value of the material.
3. SEPARATE CAPS AND LIDS FROM GLASS CONTAINERS
Metal lids left on glass create dangerous flaws in the new glass bottles. Recycle metal lids loose. Plastic lids and caps should be thrown in the trash.
4. REATTACH PLASTIC CAPS TO PLASTIC BOTTLES
Due to their size, loose plastic caps will be sorted as paper but attached to the bottle they will be recycled. Unattached caps should be thrown in the trash.
5. TRASH FROZEN FOOD BOXES AND ICE CREAM CONTAINERS
The vast majority of frozen food packaging is lined with a plastic coating rendering it unrecyclable. Due to the volume of material that goes through the sort line, it is not possible for sorting personnel to differentiate between recyclable and non-recyclable frozen food boxes. Frozen food boxes and ice cream containers need to go in the trash.
6. TRASH CERAMICS, DRINKING GLASSES, LIGHT BULBS AND PLATE GLASS
These materials create dangerous flaws in the new glass bottles and should be thrown in the trash.
7. NO LIQUIDS
Liquid from compacted plastic bottles makes a mess in the collection trucks and on the processing floor. It can also attract insects and critters. Empty and rinse bottles before reattaching lids and putting them in the recycling bin.
8. NO HAZARDOUS WASTE
If you wouldn’t drink it, it’s probably hazardous. Motor oil, paint, household cleaners, etc. all contain chemicals that must be disposed of properly to protect life and the environment. Never throw these materials in the trash, recycling bin, down the drain or in the street. Safe, convenient and free disposal is available at Boulder County’s Hazardous Materials Management Facility at 1901 63rd St. in Boulder. Call 720-564-2251 for more information.
Click here for a handy, graphic recycling guide you can post on your cabinet, refrigerator or wall.