Americans don’t do recycling right and China will no longer take the contaminated refuse from this country. Republic Services in DeMotte would like to remind people how to recycle and what not to recycle. Don Hoekstra said, “We feel strongly about recycling, but if we don’t clean it up, it will all go to landfills.” He said the cost of recycling has doubled and soon will cost more to recycle than to take all our garbage to a landfill.
“No one wants to pay a separate bill for recycling, so it will all go to the trash if we don’t change our ways. It may come to this,” he said.
Items that should never be placed in recycling containers are plastic bags and wrappers, soiled paper, styrofoam, clothing and shoes, greasy pizza boxes, tools, food, toys, electronics and batteries, construction waste, medical, yard waste, diapers and scrap metal.
“China shut out the U.S.,” Hoekstra said. “They are not taking any recycling material due to contamination. As a country, we need to learn how to recycle.”
The plastic bags used to package our purchases are not recyclable, but they are reusable. They can be reused for a variety of uses including as trash bags, lunch bags, stuffing or packing material and more.
Although acceptable, metal cans and recyclable plastic containers should be rinsed out, dry and labels removed. Keep all recyclables free of food and liquids. Don’t put items in the recycle bins inside other bags or containers. Keep them loose.
Other accepted items are flattened cardboard, paper, metal cans and plastic bottles and jugs (clean and dry).
“This is a wake-up call for everyone,” Hoekstra said. “It’s a national problem.”