As part of its ongoing effort to educate Ocean Pines residents about best recycling practices, Republic Services will place hang tags on recycling containers contaminated with non-recyclable materials on Thursday, Aug. 8 and Friday, Aug. 9.
“The recycling crisis that our industry is facing will be challenging to overcome,” Division Manager Anthony Spirito said. “We all know the importance of why we want to recycle. The only way to improve the quality of material is by educating those who are providing it.”
The “crisis” facing the recycling industry is the result of lower or even non-existent demand for materials that were previously profitable to recycle, according to Spirito. Because the net cost to recycle the remaining materials is higher, keeping those materials as uncontaminated as possible helps to keep rising costs in check, he said.
The notices will serve as reminders that only accepted materials should be placed in Republic Services’ recycling containers. Recyclable items include flattened cardboard, paper, metal cans, and plastic bottles and jugs. Items should be empty, clean and dry and should be placed in containers loose rather than in bags or other containers.
Plastic lids, which are too small to recycle by themselves, should be left on bottles and jugs or placed in the trash. Glass of any sort can no longer be recycled as there is no market for that material, Spirito said.
A checklist of non-recyclable items will also be included on the notices. Such items include soiled paper, clothing and shoes, tools, toys, construction waste, medical waste, scrap metal, polystyrene foam, greasy pizza boxes, food, electronics and batteries, diapers and yard waste.
Spirito said that Republic Services customers may place up to four bags of leaves and yard waste curbside for each scheduled pickup. This is in addition to regular trash pickup.
Yard waste in bulk or in paper bags may also be taken to the Public Works yard, located at 1 Firehouse Lane near the south station fire department. The yard is open Saturdays from 8 a.m – 4 p.m. year-round. Contractor dumping and plastic bags are not permitted.
Making sure the appropriate items are put out for recycling or trash collection is the responsibility of the customer, Spirito said. He added that contaminated recycling will not be collected and that those materials ultimately wind up in landfills anyway.
Any items not collected due to contamination must be transferred by the customer from the recycling container to the trash container. They will not be picked up until the next scheduled collection date per the agreement between the Ocean Pines Association and Republic Services.
Republic Services representatives will answer questions and share information about the recycling education campaign at Ocean Pines’ National Night Out event on Tuesday, August 6 from 5-7 p.m. in White Horse Park.
“Our industry knows the difficulties we will face with these educational programs, but we have to start somewhere. One customer, one community, one town at a time,” Spirito said.
To learn more, visit www.RecyclingSimplified.com.