I have had the opportunity to work on the floor preparing materials for recycling recently. Aluminum cans, glass, garbage, and batteries are removed from the other recyclables before they are baled up and sent to Winnipeg for sorting.
Most bags and boxes have all the right things with nothing that is drippy, sticky or gooey. This tells me people are taking care to send us only recyclable items.
There are some things that regularly show up in these bags that makes me think recyclers need more information.
- Mixed materials
Plastic lined paper envelopes cannot be recycled.
Plastic bags or packing materials like Styrofoam and tissue paper left inside boxes must be removed before they are recycled.
Nesting also slows things down. This is when one kind of material is packed inside another. Cans in tissue boxes or plastics inside of cereal boxes are two examples. Both these items can be recycled. We have to separate them so they can be sorted in Winnipeg.
2. Non-recyclable items.
There are several things we receive regularly that are not recyclable. These include plastic bags/wrap, small break apart yogurt cups (they are #6 plastic) black plastic of any kind, food bags and boxes that are waxed or have food stains on them.
The January 22 Recycling Bin column included a very complete list of what is not recyclable. A copy is available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (204) 687-6169.
Thank you for your efforts to make recycling work.