Republic Services is asking residents to ensure that all materials placed in their recycling carts are always empty, clean, and dry. If there is doubt where an item belongs, it should be discarded in the garbage cart. Changes in the recycling industry, including new international rules restricting levels of contamination in recyclable materials, are forcing garbage and recycling haulers like Republic Services to update their recycling practices. This means eliminating all contaminated items from the recycling carts.
What is Contamination?
Contamination is any non-recyclable item, like trash or soiled recyclables, that gets mixed into a bale of recyclable material. Previously, when recyclable bales from the U.S. were sent to other countries, they were sorted, and the contaminated items were removed. Policies have recently changed, limiting recycling contamination shipped internationally to a 0.5 percent rate, which is an incredible challenge for recycling companies to meet without the help of their customers.
The Good News
Many of the Village's residents are enthusiastic about recycling and want to make sure they're doing it properly. Residents are encouraged to recycle whenever possible, but to make sure trash and other contaminated items are not being discarded in recycling carts. Recycling carts may include empty, clean, dry items that fall into the following basic groups: