OCEAN PINES, Md. – People in Ocean Pines might not have their recyclables picked up on recycling day. The association’s recycling company, Republic Services, is now putting tags on bins that have too many non-recyclable materials inside.
The new system is part of the company’s greater initiative, called Recycling Simplified, to educate others about the do’s and don’t’s of recycling, Anthony Spirito, division manager of Republic Services said.
Bins that are “grossly contaminated,” meaning it contains a lot of materials that can’t be recycled, will be left with a tag that says it couldn’t be picked up. The tag includes information on what can and can’t be recycled. The bin can then be taken out with the trash on the next pick-up day.
“If you have a recycling bin in your home and that bin has an odor to it, most likely you’re not recycling right,” Spirito says. He adds, “When in doubt, throw it out.”
Contaminated materials include things like plastic bottles that haven’t been fully cleaned out. Spirito says the recycling industry is changing, and contamination is one of the factors creating a crisis because most of our recyclables are shipped overseas.
“Southeast Asia has a lot more strict rules when it comes to the contamination of the material,” Spirito says. “So, a lot of the material is either being turned away or contaminating the other good material and turning away even more material.”
Long-time homeowners say they welcome the new initiative.
“It’s your country, it’s your planet. We need to keep it clean, just like your home,” Pat Kroger says.
Debbie Jensen adds, “I think it took too long to really take hold in this country the importance of recycling.”
Ocean Pines is the first area to implement the tagging system.
“We’re doing it to really to educate,” Spirito says. “It seems like it might be a tougher way to do it but it’s one of the easier ways to really get through anyone that may be misguided on exactly the do’s and don’t’s and recycling. Communication comes in many forms and in this particular case, it will come within a tag.”
Republic Services has a full list of recyclable materials. For more details, as well as information on their Recycling Simplified program, visit: https://recyclingsimplified.com/
Spirito says they plan to implement the system to other towns on Delmarva that his division serves.