We know our customers want to do the right thing and recycling is absolutely the right thing to do at home, work, school, WHEREVER. Once you’re in the habit, it’s almost painful to see something in the trash that should be recycled. It feels wasteful…and it is.
However, and this is important, please make sure that when you place items in the recycling container your good intentions will bring cheers not jeers from the employees at our recycling facilities. (I’ve actually never heard jeers but I have seen looks of frustration when clothing, shoes, pots, pans, bowling balls, toddler wading pools, plastic grocery bags and other “Unacceptables” bring the operations to a screeching halt).
Of course, some of the items coming down the conveyor belts aren’t harmful to the employees or the technology but unacceptable just the same. Frequently, these are the plastic items that are not bottles and jugs. Remember, the “rule of thumb” for plastics is “THE CONTAINER HAS TO BE A BOTTLE OR JUG.” This means that butter tubs, yogurt containers, frozen food trays, plastic grocery bags, “clam shells,” etc. should not be placed in your Rumpke Recycling bin. If you’re in doubt – leave it out.
It’s important to understand the factors that determine which items are acceptable in the recycling program. First of all, we need markets for this material. In other words, somebody wants to buy it from us. Then we have to be able to produce the quantity and quality that the manufacturers are requiring from us. The material will then move along to the next step in the process where it will be manufactured into something new. This is the “heart” of recycling – something old becomes something new.
Rumpke is a recycling leader in the region, and we are proud of this. We strive to maintain this status by producing quality material for our markets.
So if your good intentions are paired with accurate recycling information – voila! It’s a win-win for all of us but especially the environment.
About the author: Anne Gray is the Education Specialist.