“In the Video Op-Ed above, we debunk a recycling myth that has lulled us into guilt-free consumption for decades.
This holiday season, the United States Postal Service expects to ship almost one billion packages — cardboard boxes full of electronics and fabric and plastic galore. And the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that Americans generate 25 percent more waste in the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s than during the rest of the year, an additional one million tons per week.
But hey, most of it is recyclable, right?
Well, not really.”
They have pledged to help fix U.S. recycling, but for decades the companies have fought against “bottle bills,” which result in more bottles and cans being recycled but are costly for the industry.
“Recycling is struggling in much of the United States, and companies like Coca-Cola say they are committed to fixing it.
The beverage industry helps pay for pizza parties celebrating top elementary school recyclers and lends money to companies that process used plastic. Coca-Cola and Pepsi, along with Dow, the plastics producer, support nonprofit groups like Keep America Beautiful, which organize events like litter cleanups. A recent videofunded partly by Keep America Beautiful featured models dancing through a recycling facility in Brooklyn, which one advertising writer said makes “recycling sexy.” By 2030, Coca-Cola wants all of its packaging to be made from at least 50 percent recycled content.
But one approach to recycling that many of these companies do not support has proved to actually work: container deposit laws, more commonly known as bottle bills, which cost them lots of money.
In the 10 states where consumers can collect a few cents when they return an empty bottle or can, recycling rates for those containers are often significantly higher. In some cases, they are more than twice as high as in states without such deposits.”
We have all done it: a greasy pizza box, a disposable coffee cup, the odd plastic bag. Sometimes, we want things to be recyclable, so we put them in the recycling bin.
Waste managers often call this wishful or aspirational recycling. But, unfortunately, putting these objects in with the rest of the recycling can do more harm than good. While rules differ in every municipality (check your local recycling website to find out what’s acceptable), we have picked out some key offenders to keep in mind.
Too many of these items will contaminate a batch of recycling. That means waste managers might not be able to find buyers for the materials — especially now that China, one of the world’s main importers of recyclable waste, has said it will reject shipments that are more than 0.5 percent impure. Contaminated loads could be sent to the landfill instead.
via 6 Things You’re Recycling Wrong – The New York Times
By Livia Albeck-Ripka
May 29, 2018
Oregon is serious about recycling. Its residents are accustomed to dutifully separating milk cartons, yogurt containers, cereal boxes and kombucha bottles from their trash to divert them from the landfill. But this year, because of a far-reaching rule change in China, some of the recyclables are ending up in the local dump anyway.
In recent months, in fact, thousands of tons of material left curbside for recycling in dozens of American cities and towns — including several in Oregon — have gone to landfills.
via Your Recycling Gets Recycled, Right? Maybe, or Maybe Not – The New York Times
No, Throw It In The Trash
Metallic chip bags & candy wrappers that pop back to their original shape when you crumple it. (The aluminum is fused with plastic, which cannot easily be separated for recycling.)
Aluminum-lined boxes that hold soymilk, soups, etc. (** Some recycling facilities can handle these — call to be sure.)
Capri Sun packs and smoothie squeeze pouches
Dirty paint cans
Aerosol cans with liquid still inside
Metal syringes & razor blades (Here’s how to properly dispose of razors to avoid harming sanitation workers)
Nails, screws, washers
Mirrors (donate if in good shape)
Kitchen Utensils (donate if in good shape)
via Household Metal – What Can Go in the Recycling Bin & What Can’t | Greenopedia