Tag: recycling

RECYCLING’S DIRTY DOZEN: NO. 1 – CLEARING UP CONFUSION ON PLASTICS

Recycling's Dirty Dozen: No. 1 — Clearing Up Confusion on Plastics

Recycling’s Dirty Dozen: No. 1 — Clearing Up Confusion on Plastics

By Jennifer Jarland, Kane County Recycling Coordinator

  • Editor’s Note: This article, written by Kane County Recycling Coordinator Jennifer Jarland, is the first in a series of 12 articles on the “Dirty Dozen” items that should NOT go in your recycling cart but may have other recycling options in your community. Got questions or concerns? Contact Jarland at at 630-208-3841 or recycle@countyofkane.org.

Have you ever questioned whether you can recycle something (curbside or elsewhere) or if you should put it on the trash?

For example, “Are plastic deodorant sticks, their lids, and their internal parts (assuming they’re clean) recyclable in my curbside bin?” These sorts of questions, especially about plastic items, are very common.

The answer to the above question is definitely “No!” Random plastic items — of which there are so many varieties — are often not recyclable.

What Makes Something Recyclable — Or Not?

An item is recyclable only if:

(1) It can be correctly sorted using present technology at the material recovery facilities (MRFs); and

(2) It has a viable end market — somewhere to send it where a company will re-manufacture the material into new products.

The MRFs, with a combination of human and mechanical sorting systems, are constrained by technology in the materials and shapes they can sort, and that creates some limitation.

Then there are the market forces, which is the definitive limitation. If there is no end-market for a particular type of material, then it simply cannot be recycled because there is no one turning it into anything.

What About The Numbers on Plastic Containers?

Confusion about plastic recycling comes largely from that ubiquitous symbol — a number inside the chasing arrows triangle — which manufacturers imprint on plastic products.

Because many people believe that the number means it is recyclable — which it does not — a ton of plastic stuff that is not actually recyclable ends up in the recycling bin.

The number simply tells you the type of resin an item is made from. It does not tell you whether it is recyclable in any given program.

The Rules For Recycling Plastic

Here are the five rules to remember:

  1. Forget the number! It only tells you the resin type and does not mean the item is recyclable.
  2. Only recycle CONTAINERS — in the shape of bottles, tubs, jugs and jars — in the curbside recycling cart.
  3. If it is not one of the above shapes, then it is not recyclable at the curb. See other options below for plastic bags and foam. All else goes in the trash. Also, try to rethink your purchases to avoid excess plastic packaging.
  4. Rinse lightly, only if needed.
  5. Put the lids back on the empty containers to recycle together.

Here is the Guidelines Poster of what can go in your cart and what cannot. And here are some more comprehensive details, if you are REALLY into it! : )

Non-Recyclable Plastics

  • No plastic bags or flexible plastic packaging. See Plastic Film Recycling for a drop-off locator.
  • No formed/ridged plastic packaging.
  • No straws, cups or lids.
  • No plastic plates, trays or plastic utensils.
  • No candy wrappers, cereal bags, snack bags or chip packets.
  • No plastic toys or chairs or shelves.
  • No hoses, cables, ropes, or other “tanglers”.
  • No black plastic.
  • No empty motor oil, pesticide, or chemical bottles.
  • No diapers! Can you believe we have to list this!?
  • NO Styrofoam, polystyrene (do not put in curbside bin, but deliver to Dart Container Corp, 310 Evergreen Dr., North Aurora, 630-896-4631, Recycle Drop-Off is open 24/7. Dart accepts: foam blocks, clean food containers. NO straws, cup lids, paper, or packing peanuts. UPS stores will reuse clean, bagged and unmixed foam peanuts.)

Why Can’t These Things Be Recycled?!

  1. There are many different kinds of plastic in many different forms, much of which is neither sortable nor marketable.
  2. Much of the non-recyclable plastics listed above are such a low grade of plastic that no one is re-manufacturing it.
  3. It is cheaper (in our present economy) to make things out of raw material — petroleum, than it is to collect, sort, transport, pelletize and remanufacture all of the various kinds of plastics.

Do Not Let Perfection Become the Enemy of the Good

Yes, recycling is still worth the effort; we just have to get better at “Recycling Right!” You can do it, and your actions do make a difference!

The thing is that we have to recycle as much as we can of the recyclable materials, and let the other stuff go, so as not to let perfection become the enemy of the good!

Please do not put non-recyclable items in the recycling container, clean or otherwise, as that just gives the facilities more sorting to do and the materials inevitably and unavoidably end up in the landfill anyway.

Or worse, they slip through and end up as a “contaminate” in the recyclable plastics lowering the quality of the material in the bale. This makes it harder to market and is a major detriment to the recycling industry as a whole.

ReThink

It is up to us as individuals to change our consumerist habits to stop the avalanche of plastics coming down the stream and infiltrating all elements of our environment.

The best thing you can do to help is to reduce your use of plastic at the front end. Endeavor to look for alternative products that are not packaged in plastic or made of plastic!

Four Tips For the Optimal Kane County Recycling Extravaganza Experience

4 Tips For The Optimal Kane County Recycling Extravaganza Experience

4 Tips For The Optimal Kane County Recycling Extravaganza Experience

Kane County is gearing up for its biggest recycling event of the year — the 2019 Recycling Extravaganza — set to take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 13.

There are a ton of recycling opportunities this year, and a few changes from previous years, so be sure to read the rest of this article.

The extravaganza includes recycling for batteries, books, bikes, clothes, electronics, flourescent lamps, Styrofoam and paint.

New this year is the opportunity to recycle scrap metal — aluminum, copper, brass, insulated wire, cast iron, steel and other metals.

Please see the EVENT POSTER for more details, and please read below information to make the most of your event experience!

One important reminder is that this event DOES NOT include shredding, which has been the case in previous years. That said, confidential document shredding will be available at Kane County’s Aug. 10 and Sept. 14 recycling events.

4 Tips For The Optimal Experience

  1. Please arrive between the hours of 8 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. for optimal service. Please do not arrive early, as it creates a pile up before the event even begins.
  2. It is recommended that you approach on the North-bound side of Randall, coming up from IL Route 38 toward IL Route 64, so that you can easily turn right, into the event at the Kane County Traffic Court building. If you approach on the southbound side of Randall, you may have difficulty turning left into the event site across the oncoming traffic, and the lineup creates a traffic flow problem on Randall.
  3. Please check out this MAP of the event to see the order in which things will be unloaded so that you can pack your car accordingly. This helps us to serve you more efficiently.
  4. Stop into Colonial Café for brunch after recycling!

Unloaded In This Order – MAP

  1. Electronics
  2. Books
  3. Latex paint
  4. Scrap Metal, 4-foot fluorescent tubes, Batteries, Styrofoam, Bikes, Helmets, Clothes, Shoes (all unloaded at the last stop)

Items You Can Recycle

  • Batteries: Alkaline batteries — AA, AAA, C, D, 9V & button batteries; Vehicle – car, truck, motorcycle, power sport
  • Books: any age any condition, hard or soft cover
  • Bikes in working order or in need of minor repairs, helmets, bike baskets
  • Clothes, linens, curtains, paired shoes, hats, ties, belts, purses, backpacks, stuffed animals, plush toys
  • Electronics: TVs and Computer Monitors have a recycling fee; see below under “costs.” All other electronic items are free to drop off. Click here for the full list.
  • Fluorescent Lamps (4 foot tubes)
  • Foam: Styrofoam #6 blocks and food service foam (NO packing peanuts)
  • Paint: Latex and Oil Paint have a recycling fee; see below under Costs. Please note that oil-based paints can be taken to Naperville HHW facility for free.
  • Scrap Metal (NEW in 2019): aluminum, copper, brass, insulated wire, cast iron, steel, other metals

Items You Can NOT Recycle

Costs

  • TVs and Computer Monitors have a recycling fee paid directly to the non-profit recycler. The fee is $25 for screens under 21 inches, measured diagonally across the screen, or $35 for screens 21 inches or more, payable by the resident with cash or card.
  • Paint has a recycling fee per container, payable by the resident with cash or check. Latex is $3 per gallon, oil is $8 per gallon.

Got Questions?

Contact Kane County Recycling Coordinator Jennifer Jarland at 630-208-3841 or recycle@countyofkane.org.

 

 

RECYCLING IN CHICAGOLAND: WHAT WE ARE DOING WRONG (WGN WEBSITE)

Recycling in Chicagoland: We’re doing it wrong and soon it’ll cost more

Picture of Recycling Moundby Ben Bradley (WGN9)Recycling Bin Clip Art

CHICAGO — Recycling needs to be rebooted. That’s the opinion of experts as commodity prices crash and many residents still can’t recycle right.

WGN Investigates rode along one recycling truck’s route in Oak Lawn and followed it to the yard to see how much of the material residents put in their green carts is actually recyclable.

“Believe it or not we get a lot of diapers,” said Pete Keller of Republic Services which handles waste hauling for dozens of Chicago suburbs.

Twenty to 25% of most loads are unrecyclable, according to Republic.

“There’s actually a term for that in our industry,” Keller said. “It’s called ‘wish-cycling.’ Well-intentioned people doing more harm than good.”

The contamination problem in south suburban Posen is so bad the village president is scrapping the suburb’s recycling program effective in October.

“It’s just not working,” Frank Podbielniak said. “We don’t know any other way to educate the public to do it the right way.”

While recycling advocates say dumping a program is not the right way to go they concede the economics have changed since China decided to stop accepting much of what Americans recycle. Haulers like Republic Services are now cautioning customers that they may soon be asked to pay more to recycle.

“Without the commodity value, without a willingness to pay more, this business is not sustainable long term,” said Keller.

How much more? Watch the full story above.

Wondering what you CAN and CANNOT recycle? It varies by community and waste hauler. Here are some helpful links:

Waste Management (Maple Park’s Waste Hauler): https://www.wm.com/thinkgreen/what-can-i-recycle.jsp

GOT FLOODING? HERE’S HOW TO RECYCLE, DISPOSE OF DAMAGED DEBRIS IN KANE COUNTY

Got Flooding? Here’s How To Recycle, Dispose of Damaged Debris in Kane County

Picture of a Flooded Interior

With flooding gripping a large part of the Midwest and with a Flood Warning in effect through Monday, Kane County Recycling Coordinator Jennifer Jarland has released updated information on how to properly dispose of flood-damaged debris.

In the latest editor of the Kane County Disaster Debris Management Guide, you’ll find valuable information ranging from how to find a waste hauler to what items you can reasonably recycle to how to get rid of construction debris and household hazardous waste.

“As we enter flood season again, I wanted to share this guide for waste disposal and recycling related to flood damage or other disasters affecting homes in Kane County,” Jarland said. “I created this in 2017 and updated it this week so it is good to go for the current flood season.”

Jarland asks Kane County residents to share with your networks and distribute as needed.

The following are some excerpts from the guide:

Kane County Disaster Debris Management Guide

Debris is often generated following a disaster such as a tornado, flood, storms or power outages.

Not all items may be discarded with garbage and trash. The management of these materials are described in this guide.

Individual property owners of the affected private property are responsible for separating and preparing all nonhazardous solid waste materials and residential recyclable material for pickup by a Kane County licensed municipal solid waste hauler.

It is recommended that recyclable materials such as metal, construction debris, and latex paint be separated and recycled whenever possible.

Household hazardous wastes and syringes should be separated and disposed of in a safe manner, either by special pick up or delivery to drop-off locations.

Large household appliances or “white goods”, electronics, tires and landscape waste are banned from landfills in Illinois and must be recycled.

Costs: Additional fees may be charged for special pickup or drop-off services. Residents should always call a service, drop-off location or facility directly to confirm the cost of disposal, acceptable items and hours or other restrictions.

Safety: The sorting of debris should be handled in a safe manner and personal protective clothing and equipment should be used, for example, disposable protective suits, gloves, eye protection, and face masks (i.e. dust or N95 mask).

Store all waste away from water wells and prevent vehicles and heavy equipment from driving or parking over any portion of a septic system.

Please be patient as clean-up efforts may take time. Collectively, residents and waste haulers can prepare and manage the debris in an orderly and safe way for recycling and disposal while protecting public health.

*Article Credit – Kane County Connects

STILL NOT SURE ABOUT ALL THIS RECYCLING ‘STUFF’?

If you still have questions about all the recycling changes, you can submit a question to Jennifer Jarland from Kane County Recycles. She can answer all your questions about the “New Rules” for recycling. Here is a question that she recently received.


“Q: Hi, Jennifer!

 Tub With Food PictureAfter reading the Kane County Recycles Green Guide I’m still unclear about clear hard plastic food containers. For instance, lettuce mixes, fruit and snacks.

If these containers are recyclable, is there a market for them? Or are they being crushed and sent to some remote country somewhere?

I know that pet food and bird seed bags are not recycled, which is a shame because it is such a huge industry. Are the hard-plastic litter containers recyclable?

Do you know if there is an organization that is working with industry to develop alternative materials for these products? This is obviously a subject I’m very interested in.

Thanks so much for looking into this for me.

 — MJK

 A: Hi, MJK!

Yes, fruit and lettuce boxes are recyclable! The reason that the guidelines are a little vague is because these items are on the line of recyclable or not recyclable.

Many of the recycling facilities do not want them, because they have little to no value. There is a market for mixed low-grade plastic but it isn’t great. And it is very likely offshore.Tub with Salad Picture

That said, you CAN put them in your bin and they will get recycled. (Read the fine print of the online guidelines and you will find them listed there, under the plastic bottles, tubs, jugs, and jars details. They are considered “Tubs.”)

Flat lids though, if separated from the container, are not recyclable as they cannot be sorted by the current technology (based on shapes) and often end up in with the paper because it is thin and flat. So, for example, the flat lettuce container lids should go in the trash, please. And the tub itself goes in the recycling.

Cat Litter Container pictureKitty litter containers are recyclable, yes. And if they have a screw on lid, it can also be recycled, attached to the container.

The Product Stewardship Institute works on product and packaging design. Also, there are definitely signs of movement in the direction of design for recyclability in the corporate arena. Slowly but surely.

It is up to us to shop wisely, too, and avoid the packaging if possible. I just wrote an article on that!”

Contact Jennifer Jarland at 630-208-3841 or recycle@countyofkane.org.

AMERICA RECYCLES DAY IS EVERY DAY!

Celebrate by thinking outside the plastic bag.

Recycling plays a vital role in our communities –
it deserves more than one day of recognition each year. So let’s celebrate recycling with tips and tools to recycle right – today and every day.Plastic bags and bagged recyclables don’t belong in any residential recycling containers – they pose safety hazards for workers, contaminate other recyclables, and damage recycling equipment.  Today we are launching a new Think Outside the Plastic Bag’ campaign to help cities and residents recycle right without using plastic bags or bagging recyclables.Visit RORR.com/no-plastic-bags to download tools and resources to post on your website and share in resident e-newsletters.  Post our Get Started videos that show residents how easy it is to set up recycling in their homes without using plastic bags.  Visit Waste Management’s YouTube channel and share funny Billy and Teddy videos – those guys are most effective in helping everyone recycle right!Let’s continue to work together to keep both plastic bags and bagged recyclables out of all residential recycling containers.  Thank you as always for your business. Take these simple steps.

Recyle Often Recycle Right Logo Become a Recycling Ambassador

Share good recycling practices with others

Take-Back Options Clip Art Take-back options

Visit plasticfilmrecycling.org to find a drop-off location near you.

Reduce Clip Art Reduce

Avoid plastic bags by taking reusable bags when you shop.

Free your recyclables Clip Art Free your recyclables!

Never bag your recycling – empty items directly into your container.

Reuse Clip Art Reuse

Use plastic bags as trash liners in your garbage containers.

Collaborate and share Clip Art Collaborate and share!

It takes all of us working together to clean up recycling.

Visit RecycleOftenRecycleRight.com often and share with your employees and residents.

MAPLE PARK REFUSE / RECYCLING CONTRACT

Garbage Can Clip ArtBoard of Trustees Approves Refuse / Recycling Contract with Waste Management


On September 4, 2018, the Maple Park Board of Trustees approved a 5-year contract with Waste Management for Refuse and Recycling services. Beginning in February 2019, resident costs will go down and more services will be added. More to come…Stay Tuned clip art

 

GREEN NEWS

GREEN NEWS

The World of Recycling is Changing

Recycling is at risk. And we need your help. Waste Management collects hundreds of tons of recycling material every day in communities. Unfortunately, a higher percentage of non-recyclable materials are being found in recycling. That often happens by mistake, or due to lack of information. Current recycling markets are requiring clean, quality materials with virtually no contamination. With proper education and decision making, we can make a difference and ensure recycling is sustainable for generations to come.

Some of the most common contaminates that are found in the recycling stream include:

  • Plastic bags, which often may be returned to retailers, are NOT accepted in single stream recycling.
  • Pizza boxes, which contain residual grease, cheese or other toppings. Don’t include food-soiled items and liquids – they can turn an entire load of recycling into trash.
  • Bubble wrap and shrink wrap cause damage, down-time and costly repairs to recycling equipment.
  • Electric cords, string/rope material, rubber and plastic hose, clothing. These items are called “tanglers” and can shut down an entire recycling plant!
  • Propane tanks, batteries, and electronic waste can start fires at the recycling plant.
  • Medical equipment and devices of any kind, such as needles, tubing and gloves. They can cause injury to workers.

To learn more information about recycling, please visit www.recycleoftenrecyleright.com.

Help us Recycle Often. Recycle Right. ®

Waste Management Logo

 

Kane County Electronics Recycling Plan Update

Electronic Recycling ImageNew dates have been announced for Electronics Collection Events in Kane County. The first date is January 14, 2017, at 540 S. Randall Road, St. Charles. Please see the Kane County Recycling Website for more dates.

There is a cost for screened equipment (TVs and Monitors cost $25 for a screen that is 20″ or under and any TVs or Monitors that are over 21″ are $35 each).

Drop off locations are as follows:
517 Fabyan Parkway, Batavia
735 Martin Drive, South Elgin
900 Angle Tarn, West Dundee

Please see the Kane County Electronics Recycling webpage here.

If you have questions, please contact Jennifer Jarland, recycle@countyofkane.org or 630-208-3841.