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What Happens to Your Recycling...

Chinapreviously the world’s most reliable and comprehensive site for recycling, has introduced a ban on certain types of recyclables, namely unsorted paper and certain types of plastic, as well as items with contaminates like food residue or mixed materials. Items like milk jugs or soda bottles that still have bits of drink on them not only aren’t recyclable, but could also ruin a whole bale of plastic for recycling. And if your junk mail has anything plastic in it, such as a window or a promotional card, it’s set to ruin a whole batch of otherwise recyclable paper as well. The ban is for good reason – contaminated items pose a health and safety risk to the sorting facilities and their employees, and often even end up damaging the environment and local communities. But now, we have the opportunity to do better.

The New and Improved Recycling Effort

With the new bans in place, recycling facilities in America are scrambling to find new ways to get recyclable inventory to the right processing plants. However, it’s quickly becoming clear that the best way to get recyclables processed is simply education.

By letting the general public know how important it is to keep recyclables clean, we can keep sending the bulk of recycling to Chinese facilities. And Recycle Clean America is leading the charge with public education.

Get Educated – Get Involved

Education is the most important part of our efforts to keep recyclables clean and out of landfills. Consider the following tips to help us keep the planet green and healthy:

  1. Educate Yourself. Peruse the Recycle Clean America website to learn what is recyclable and what’s not, and remember to put only recyclables in your recycling cart.

Recyclers point to the need to better communicate which products don’t belong in single-stream. First on the list is plastic bags, which when tossed in with the rest of the recycling routinely jam the machines at recycling plants. City officials in Phoenix estimate they lose about $1 million a year because of improper recycling, mostly because of flimsy plastic bags.

“Plastic bags and the switch to lighter shipping materials,” like the inflatable air pillow film used in some packaging, “are wreaking havoc in traditional recycling facilities,” said Bellucci Butler.

  1. Tell your family and friends about Recycle Clean America. The more people know about our efforts and what is and isn’t recyclable, the more we’ll be able to recycle.
  2. For those in the Bay Area - visit Mt. Diablo Resource Recovery for a short presentation and tour. Considering making a day of it with your family, friends, colleagues, or children, so that your entire circle knows how best to recycle.
  3. If you’re in the Bay Area, contact Us to arrange for us to speak to your class or group. If you’re part of a class or business, you could get everyone on board with our efforts and keep your local community green.
  4. Follow us on Facebook. Recycle Clean America is always on the lookout for new and improved methods of recycling, and it’s pertinent to stay up-to-date on the latest news.
  5. Get involved with local cleanup projects in your area or start your own.

Want to educate your class, family, organization or team about recycling and the new methods of recycling correctly? If you reside in Northern California, there’s a host of opportunities for your group to learn more about recycling and see recycling at work at Mt. Diablo Resource Recovery in Pittsburg, California.:
Visit Mt. Diablo Resource Recovery for a Short Presentation & Tour

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