Keep pizza boxes, plastic bags, glass and more out of the recycling bins

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. — Pizza and doughnut boxes, plastic bags, glass.. not everything is meant for the recycling bin. Santek Waste is among the companies now working to educate customers about the do’s and don’ts when it comes to recycling.

Only number 1 and 2 plastics are accepted in our area. This includes thinks like plastic drink bottles, shampoo bottles and clothes soap containers. Those bottles do need to be rinsed out and dry before they go in the bin. Boxes or packaging with food residue need to be tossed in the regular garbage.

Contaminants in the recycling loads, drive up the costs for waste haulers. That’s because the recycling facilities will charge to sort out the “bad recycling.” Santek G.M. Sam Dillender estimates 25% of the recycling they pick up is either non-recyclable or contaminated with food. A contaminated load can run double or even triple the price and eventually those costs will get passed on to the consumer.

Some key words to remember: make sure the items are empty, clean and dry. Hoover, which contracts with Santek for garbage and recycling pick-up, recently sent out 26,000 mailers to help educate the public.

For information on what type of recycling in your neighborhood, visit your city’s website.

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