It’s Earth Day! We are focusing on recycling correctly and reducing contamination in all waste streams (recycling, organics, and trash).

What is contamination?

Contamination happens when non-recyclable items get mixed in with recyclables in the waste stream. According to The Recycling Partnership, contamination in the recycling stream costs the U.S. upwards of $300 million each year! California’s top 3 contaminants are plastic bags, plastic film, and food/garbage.

Many people don’t know that plastic bags and plastic film are not recyclable. Plastic bags get wrapped around equipment and have to be cut free; this wastes time, raises cost of labor, and increases waste coming out of the material recovery facility (MRF). We ask that you please do not bag recyclables; instead, collect them in a paper bag and then separate the materials into your split cart.

Just because plastic has the “chasing arrows” symbol on it does not mean it is recyclable- a good rule of thumb to follow is to recycle Bottles, Jugs, Tubs, and Jars! For more detailed information about what can be placed in your recycling cart, see our service guide.

You might see a green tag stapled to your recycling cart in the coming months. We are using these tags to track contamination in our Town and make sure everyone knows what can and cannot be recycled. If you have questions about your tag, please call our office at (707) 795-7470.