Tips to Reduce Recycling Contamination

What is Recycling Contamination?

To put it simply, contamination in recycling is the presence of anything that shouldn’t be in your recycling. That could occasionally be the outcome of “Wish cycling,” which is throwing away items without first making sure they are recyclable.

It might be something like plastic wrapping, which is recyclable but not picked up by your local council. Alternatively, it can be something that your local council collects but has been contaminated by something else, such as food residue from a can of beans or a cardboard takeout pizza box soiled with oil.

How to Reduce Recycling Contamination: Top Tips

Over the past few years, recycling contamination has grown to be a significant issue. Throwing anything you believe can be recycled in the trash is no longer acceptable due to changes in procedures and policies.

How to Reduce Recycling Contamination - Top Tips

This is the cause of recyclables getting contaminated. Recycling facilities must become more adept at recycling in order to avoid problems and make use of premium materials.

Here are some tips for reducing recycling contamination:

Clean Your Containers

Once everything is packed tightly on the truck, containers that contain a lot of food or other product residue can quickly contaminate other recyclables like cardboard and paper. Paper and cardboard that are wet and dirty cannot be recycled at recycling centres; instead, they will be disposed of in landfills.

Most of the time, a quick swirl and rinse will do to clean containers instead of giving them a thorough cleaning or putting them in the dishwasher. Most residue comes off rather fast if you replace the top, shake well, and add a small amount of water before emptying. Reusing dishwater makes it even better. Rinsed containers should be wisely left on the counter to dry.

Don’t Put the Plastic Bags in the Recycle Bin

One of the biggest contaminants in recycling is plastic bags. At waste recycling plants, plastic bags become tangled in the gears, posing a serious risk to the personnel who must untangle them. As such, they should not be placed in your home recycling bin, and they aren’t accepted at sorting facilities.

Fortunately, you can recycle your plastic bags at drop-off containers found at many businesses. Continue to save, stuff those plastic bags, and deliver them to a drop-off place rather than placing them in your household trash can.

Donate Plastic Container

Most household recycling systems do not accept takeout cartons made of black plastic. Because sorters can’t tell this kind of plastic from other plastics, contamination results from the plastic getting mixed into the load. Most places don’t have a healthy market for hard black plastics.

Donate Plastic Container

Try cleaning them out and preserving them to donate to food kitchens that prepare and serve meals for the homeless if you are unable to avoid getting these containers with your takeout.

Don’t Put the Batteries in the Recycle Bin

Throwing batteries in the recycling bin increases the risk of dangerous chemical spills and combustion-related fires. Throwing your batteries in your home recycling bin will cause them to get crushed in the truck and leak over other materials like paper and cardboard, even if there isn’t a fire. This would taint such materials, which would otherwise be recyclable, making them useless.

There are excellent battery recycling initiatives, such as the drop-off locations and mail-in programs offered by various non-profit organizations. Instead of contaminating your home recycling receptacle, please use one of the mail-in or drop-off options to help keep the recycling workers safe.

Soft Paper Products in Garbage

Many people believe that tissues, paper towels, and napkins are recyclable because they are composed of paper. No, they’re not. These items consist of fibres that are already at their lowest usable components, and by the time they are ready to be disposed of, they are frequently filthy. As a result, recycling can be easily contaminated by this material.

Opt for more environmentally friendly solutions; replacing paper towels with towels is the simplest. Cloth napkins and handkerchiefs might be back in style as the market for sustainable choices grows! Some businesses are attempting to address this issue by developing a washable cloth substitute for single-use paper.

Find the Right Place for Hard Disposal Items

Find the Right Place for Hard Disposal Items

Recycling centres get an endless supply of hazardous garbage, furniture, gardening tools, biohazards, and other items. In a perfect world, everything would be recycled, but a lot of things aren’t right now and require other disposal techniques. Hazardous garbage, electronics, clothing, and other items have separate disposal locations, while bulk item pick-ups and planned donation pick-ups have varied times.

Author Profile

Sam Anderson
Sam Anderson
Certified Junk Clearance Professional at Express Waste Removals.