Republic Services reporting more contamination in city recycling bins

Friday, November 20, 2020

The City of Greencastle announced today that Republic Services is reporting an increase in contamination in local household recycling bins. Contaminated bins result in rejected loads and increased program costs.

Republic is once again auditing local recycling bins for contamination. Household bins will be photographed and the city will be notified. The city will then send out a letter to the household. If the household does not take corrective action to avoid placing unacceptable items in the bin, Republic will remove the bin.

These new procedures will go into effect immediately as a result of a contract amendment with Republic Services approved Wednesday by the Greencastle Board of Works.

Household recycling bins are not a second trash container and are to be used for acceptable items that can be recycled within Republic’s system.

The current recycling environment has created the following rule of thumb, “when in doubt, throw it out,” which means, place the item in your regular trash bin, not the recycling bin. All materials placed in a recycling bin should be rinsed, clean and should not be soiled so as to be unusable.

While participating in recycling efforts is voluntary, the service is included in the monthly trash removal fee whether one participates in recycling or not.

In some cases, an item may have a recycling mark but may not be able to be recycled in Republic’s system. Earlier this year, Republic provided new information on items that can be recycled as detailed below. Please review this information carefully:

• Newspapers, colored and white paper, magazines, catalogs, junk mail, paper bags and phone books. Do not include shredded paper.

• Lightweight cardboard – such as cereal boxes. Do not recycle wax or plastic-coated cardboard food containers.

• Corrugated cardboard – please break down the boxes. Do not recycle pizza boxes or other boxes that are contaminated with grease or food.

• Glass containers – empty and rinsed.

• Aluminum, steel and tin cans – beverage, cat food, soup and coffee cans, food trays, clean aluminum foil, etc., empty and rinsed.

• Plastic containers:

o No. 1 – PET or PETE including soda bottles, water bottles, cooking oil bottles, peanut butter jars and medicine containers. No microwave trays.

o No. 2 – HDPE including laundry and dish detergent containers, milk bottles, butter & margarine tubs, shampoo and conditioner bottles.

o No. 5 – PP including yogurt tubs, orange prescription medicine containers and other food containers.

The following plastic items are not recyclable:

o Any container that includes food or grease residue.

o No. 2 – HDPE grocery bags, plastic bags, bubble wrap, and plastic films.

o No. 3 – All PVC including some containers, shower curtains or plastic films.

o No. 4 – LDPE including CD and DVD cases, liquid and food containers, grocery bags, plastic bags, and plastic films.

o No. 6 – Styrofoam/PS including hard plastic cups, hard plastic containers, disposable cutlery and all Styrofoam/foam containers and cups – is not recyclable at this time – place in your regular trash.

o No. 7 – Others, including clear polycarbonate water bottles.

In addition to the plastic items listed above, the following items are unacceptable, cannot be recycled and should be placed in your regular trash:

• Items bagged in a plastic bag.

• Items smaller than the size of a credit card.

• Cardboard milk and juice cartons and other aseptic cartons such as juice boxes, soy milk and soup cartons.

• Yard waste should not be placed in your recycling bin.

• Styrofoam containers, including packing materials, packing peanuts, cups, clamshell food containers, meat trays, egg trays and other items. Any foam type of item with a No. 6 recycling number.

• Pizza boxes that contain any food or grease residue.

• Food or any liquids.

• Diapers.

• Clothing/textiles.

• Any plastic film including plastic grocery bags, food bags, dry cleaning bags, bubble wrap, Saran Wrap, etc. Plastic grocery bags can be recycled at Kroger and Wal-Mart.

• Plastics containers with Nos. 3, 4, 6 and 7.

• Mirrors, window or auto glass, light bulbs, LEDs and ceramics.

• Oil or antifreeze containers.

• Wax coated cardboard food boxes.

• Coat hangers or other metal non-food items.

• Paint Cans – Oil-based paint can be taken to Tox-Away Day.

• Aerosol cans.

• Medical waste/sharps – Needles and syringes.

• Large plastic toys – although the toy may have a recycling symbol, the sorting equipment cannot handle large items.

• Fluorescent tubes and light bulbs.

• Any acceptable material that is no longer acceptable due to its coming in contact with or being contaminated by unacceptable material.

• Electronics.

• Tires.

Please note that the following items can be taken to the annual local Tox-Away Day:

• Paint cans – oil-based paint.

• Electronics.

• Tires.

• Fluorescent tubes and light bulbs.

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  • Time for a new service

    -- Posted by small town fan on Thu, Nov 19, 2020, at 8:13 PM
  • No reason for a new service. These recycling rules are true everywhere.

    -- Posted by banana49 on Fri, Nov 20, 2020, at 6:43 AM
  • You are correct that the Republic household recycling restrictions are consistent with those at other companies across the country. Better to be able to recycle what we can & lessen what gets sent to landfills.

    -- Posted by ObserverFromAfar on Sun, Nov 22, 2020, at 8:50 PM
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