America Recycles Day Provides an Opportunity to Test Your Recycling Knowledge

At Waste Management, every day is about recycling, but on this annual America Recycles Day we’d like to remind the community about some important recycling tips, in addition to the items you should never put in your recycling container.

Recycle Often. Recycle Right.SM

Waste Management’s Recycle Often. Recycle Right.SM campaign simplifies recycling by promoting three basic rules:

1. Recycle all bottles, cans, paper and cardboard.

2. Keep items clean and dry. No food or liquids.

3. No plastic bags. Instead, return them to a retail location.

By emphasizing the most common recyclable products and providing helpful tips to ensure those materials can be recycled rather than end up in a landfill, Waste Management hopes to significantly impact the amount of usable materials entering recycling facilities. We also encourage the purchase of products made from recycled materials to help support the companies who use recycled versus new materials.

Residents can visit Waste Management’s Recycle Often. Recycle Right.SM website, where they are invited to make a recycling promise, pledging to practice better recycling at home, work and throughout their communities. They can also visit Waste Management’s Facebook and Twitter pages for additional recycling tips and quizzes, using hashtag #Recycling101.

“Recycling is good for the community and good for the environment,” said Michael Hammer, director of recycling for Waste Management of Southern California. “It preserves natural resources, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, reduces the need for landfill space and is the right thing to do. It’s important to recycle often, but it is even more important to recycle right.”

Recycling Offenders

It can be confusing to know what items can be recycled and how to recycle them properly. In order for recycling to really work, your recycling container needs to be filled with the right items.

Recycling the wrong items can lead to problems:

  • Placing non-recyclable materials into recycling containers can contaminate the load so that it all ends up in a landfill.
  • Contamination slows down the operations at recycling plants, can be dangerous for employees and can increase recycling costs.

The biggest “problem items” found in recycling containers are plastic bags; “tanglers” like wires, hoses and chains; clothing and yard waste. Please make sure to keep these items out. Plastic bags can be taken back to local retail stores for separate collection. Consider shopping with reusable bags. Clothing should be donated to a local deserving charity. Don’t forget about those unwanted toys and household items that can find a new home, too.

Recyclables should go into the recycling container loose, not bagged. Bags cannot be opened, resulting in the entire bag and its contents having to be sent to a landfill.

Waste Management thanks you for your commitment to recycling while helping to keep our community clean and green. Happy America Recycles Day!