To keep it simple, the main thing is contamination. Contamination is when items are put into the recycling containers (the blue and green carts) that belong in the trash can. Contaminating the recycling could cause the recycling to be rejected at the recycling facility, said Lynnda Martin of the Tule Trash Company. She noted that stricter recycling limits have been put in place because of the shortage of recycling centers. Items that do NOT belong in the blue and green container include:
--Plastic bags. Plastic bags do not belong in the blue or green cart; they go in the trash can.
--Shipping boxes with Styrofoam need to be separated. Cardboard goes in the blue cart and Styrofoam goes into the trash can.
--Garden hoses cause a “hairball” in the sort-line at the recycling facility and cause damage to the equipment. Hoses go in the trash can.
--Clothes and shoes don’t belong in the blue cart.
--Dog and cat food bags do not belong in the blue cart.
She also says when it doubt, throw it out. Another way to contaminate recycling is to put dirty cardboard or aluminum cookware in the blue recycle cart. Martin says if it’s dirty or has food on it needs to go in the trash can. Dirty diapers are another thing not allowed in recycling carts.
Items which are allowed in the Blue Recycling cart are the following:
--Metals, Plastics and paper.
--Cardboard and please make sure it’s clean.
--Milk jugs and juice bottles.
--Tin cans—empty fruit and vegetable cans (rinsed).
--Aluminum cans (sodas).
--Plastic liter bottles.
Items which are allowed in the green organics cart are as follows:
--Food waste—not inside a plastic bag.
Items which must go into the trash can are as follows:
--General household trash.
--Plastic wrapped boxes.
--Dog and cat food bags.
--Plastic swimming pools.
Tule Trash Company is trying to educate local residents on the do’s and don’ts of recycling to help the environment. For example, styrofoam takes over 500 or more years to decompose; aluminum cans take 80-110 years; a tin can takes 100 years; and plastic bags take 10-20 years to decompose, Martin commented.