STOP Recycle Contamination

create a school recycling program with students

A lot of people think that throwing something into the recycling bin after they finish using it is all they need to do in order to help save the environment. However, this is the end of the process and there are steps that should be taken before this point. Otherwise, you are going to be guilty of what is known as recycle contamination.

What is Recycle Contamination?

This is a term that means the objects you are trying to recycle are contaminated in some way that prevents them from being recycled. This most often happens with food and beverage containers but can also happen with a wide range of other recyclable materials as well.

non-recyclable items
Certain types of dirty recyclables like pizza boxes can be safely composted instead.

When a piece of recycling is labeled as contaminated, the professional recycling facilities often end up throwing them away because they are not high enough quality to actually recycle and turn into a new product. So any recyclable item being thrown away in a contaminated state is the same as simply throwing it in the trash in the first place.

How to Prevent Recycle Contamination

The best way to help drastically reduce or even eliminate the amount of recycle contamination that you are guilty of is taking the time to properly prepare your recyclables. This means that you are cleaning them out as soon as you are done using them.

So for drink containers, dry rinsing them out before throwing them in the recycle bin, and things like pizza boxes should have the bottom layer of paper or plastic, along with any obvious food chunks removed before being recycled.

To further improve your recycling efforts, make sure that you contact us at Sunrise Sanitation and set up your own commercial recycling initiative to help with things like recycle contamination.

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