Rockford Recycling Dos and Dont’s

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For my neighborhood Friday is garbage day, so for most us, that means we start Thursday evening getting this ready to take to the curb.

Normally that would mean taking out the recyclables along with the garbage, but with COVID, new restrictions and plans have been temporally put into place.

I’m an avid recycler, got it from my dad. So a couple of years back I was pretty excited when they upgraded the size of bins we were to use, but not with every other week pick up I’m worried that might be enough space.

Makes ya wonder if you’re putting everything you should be in your recycling bin.

I looked it up on Rock River Disposal’s webpage and it was pretty much a list of items I expected plastics, cardboard, glass, alumiunum, and so on.

But were you aware there are 11 things you should stop putting in the recycling bin if you’re currently doing so:

  1. Plastic Bags – I know with current shopping conditions we’re coming home with more of these that we know what to do with, so if the store allows it bring your own reusable bags. These bags are made from a soft plastisc that clog machines and slow things down. Don’t make a bad day at work for someone, just try to remember those bins for them in the front of the store.
  2. Pizza Boxes – You would think these would fall under cardboard, but becuase of the grease they’ll just have to go with the compost, same with the shiny paper that lilnes the bottom. This is sortof a good rule to remember for most take-out boxes.
  3. Gift Wrap – Metallic, glittery, shiny wrapping paper and ribbons are made from a non-recyclable matterial, so this holiday season leave them out of the bin. Maybe even opt for a option all together. But if you still go that route, crumple it up into a ball and it if doesn’t stay rolled up, throw it out it’s not recyclable.
  4. Small Metal Bits – While these things, like pop tabs, are technically recyclable they are too small for the machines and it clog it up. See plastic bags for why this is not cool.
  5. Receipts – These are made with a thermal paper that contains BPA, which you guessed it are non-recyclable. Plus these BPAs are nasty and can contaminate any paper that may have been processed with this thermal paper. So just toss it or if emailing your receipts is an option do that instead.
  6. Food Residue – Make sure to rinse out any food or beverage containers you plan on tossing in the recycling bin becauce just a tiny bit of food residue can contaminate and ruin an entire truckload of recyclables.
  7. Broken Crockery – Sorry fellow clumbsy folks these are not recyclable either. This is due to different melting periods for things like broken plates, ceramics, porcelain, mirrors, light bulbs, cups, wine glasses, and pyrex. If you can dontae them or safe them for arts and crafts.
  8. Diapers – I can’t believe these was even on a list, but NO diapers are not recyclable. Clean or dirty they go in the trash.
  9. Shredded Paper – Where paper is recyclable, because of the small peices that come from shredding paper this will cause the machines to clog and we;ve already established this is no good.
  10. Coffee Cups – Most of the To-Go cups have a liner that causes them to no be able to go in the recycle bin. Some lids and the protective sleeves are but if you can bring your own cup.
  11. Paperboard Boxes – Ice Cream cartons and other freezer food boxes contain a plastic polymer to prevent freezer burn. Sadly this plastic coating causes boxes not to break down properly and makes them non-recyclable.

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