TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – What happens to your trash after you throw it in the recycle bin?
It goes to the landfill and is sorted through several times to filter out any contaminants, things that can’t be recycled.
“What we’re trying to do here is prevent anything from entering the machine that’s one, not recyclable or two that’s going to damage the machine,” said Tronnie Blair, Material Recovery Facility manager for Waste Management near Topeka.
That’s why making sure you’re throwing the right stuff in the recycle bin matters.
“The contamination rate has raised substantially,” said Paul Howe, community relations manager for Waste Management. “Now we’re in a period of time where the people that are accepting the feedstock, the materials to make new products, they’re saying we don’t want the contamination. We can’t handle the contamination. “
It’s costing you money. China is one of the main buyers of recyclable materials from the U.S., but contaminated products are causing them to stop buying.
“The commodity value goes down and it tends to raise the price for consumers for collecting this material,” said Howe.
So how will the cost come down? Howe said consumers can help.
“When in doubt, leave it out and then go find out,” said Howe. “Don’t guess. If you don’t know for sure, let’s leave it out this time, and go find out. The more you know the better.”
For a full list of what you can recycle, click HERE.