The Importance of Recycling Correctly

Categories: Garbage & Recycling

A pile of cardboard for recycling.

The City of Sheboygan Department of Public Works has partnered with leading industrial recycling experts, Waste Management and The Recycling Partnership. Together the City of Sheboygan is moving towards a safer, cleaner, and greener collection system.

According to Waste Management, 69% of plastic bottles do not get recycled and 45% of aluminum cans end up in the garbage. Recycling just one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for two hours, power a 14 CFL bulb for 20 hours, and run a computer for three hours.

We must take the time to learn how to recycle correctly. Improper recycling can cause entire loads of recycling to be ruined at the recycling plant.

Please remember that the plastics you are using and are going to recycle will be made into new products. We do not want things like medical waste showing in the recyclable material that will be made into new products.

When recycling plastic, make sure that it is a rigid container from a household item. Rigid containers that hold motor oil or other hazardous material should be placed in the trash. Rigid buckets from household items are also recyclable.

Flimsy plastic pouches are not recyclable and should be placed in the garbage. Good examples of flimsy plastic containers are chip bags, resealable bags, toothpaste tubes, and bags that hold liquid (wine, juice, apple sauce).

Plastic toys should not be recycled. Often they are constructed with metal materials and batteries. Look to donate unused toys so that they can be reused.

Recyclable material must be cleaned before being placed in the recycling container. Recyclables with food residue, liquid, or grease stains are not recyclable. Scrape all jars, bottles, and cans until the residue or contents are removed. Then, rinse the containers. If you cannot remove all residue (peanut butter, jelly, honey) the item should be placed in the trash.

Plastic bags, holiday lights, strings, and clothing should not be recycled because they can get caught up in the recycling sorting machines and bring the entire plant to a standstill. Plant employees then must climb up and cut the material loose. By recycling material that can get caught up in machinery, you could place a plant worker in danger.

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