Q: What is the biggest mistake residential customers make in recycling?

A: Putting recyclables in a bag causes a lot of problems for the recycling facility. Keeping the material loose allows the staff and equipment to process it faster, and more safely. Bags are also one of the worst "tanglers" within the facility, getting caught and tangled in sorting equipment. Additionally, if material is in a black trash bag, the sorters will assume (usually correctly) that the contents are trash, and will send them to the landfill.
Another common mistake is sending mixed materials, or non-like materials inside one another. For example, a cardboard box full of packing foam or bubble wrap makes it very difficult to process the cardboard, and the foam and stretchy plastic are two of our worst contaminants. Cardboard should be flattened, with the packing contents removed. Plastic bags and other tanglers, food residue and Styrofoam should not go in the recycling.

Show All Answers

1. Q: Documents for Shredding - Where do I take them?
2. Q: When will my recyclables be collected?
3. Q: How and where can I recycle plastic bags and other stretchy plastics?
4. Q: How do I recycle Shredded Paper? Why can it not go in the bin?
5. Q: What is single stream recycling?
6. Q: Your signs say ‘no plastic bags’; can I put my recyclables in a bag?
7. Q: Batteries and light bulbs: where I can recycle them?
8. Q: Can I recycle my pizza boxes?
9. Q: My roll-cart is full and I have more recyclables. What do I do?
10. Q: Why can’t plastic bags, wraps, etc., be recycled on the curb or at a drop-off site?
11. Q: What questions should I be asking that would help my family become more efficient recyclers?
12. Q: How can I get one those amazing reusable recycling bags for my recycling?
13. Q: What do I need to know to insure that the things I recycle are actually sold to be repurposed?
14. Q: Plastics are confusing, which ones can I recycle?
15. Q: Can caps and lids be left on containers for recycling?
16. Q: What is a Pay-As-You-Throw garbage collection system?
17. Q: What is the biggest mistake residential customers make in recycling?
18. Q: Dog food bags are not recyclable. Why?
19. Q: What is the Waste Minimization Fee?