October 2, 2012

Recycling Do's and Don't's

Kudos to all who put full recycling bins out for curbside pickup each week. We have two containers, usually filled to the brim with newspapers, magazines, junk mail, wine bottles, aluminum cans and #1 and #2 plastic bottles—with necks.

But it’s time for a refresher course because many folks include items for which local curbside programs (such as in Williamsburg and James City) have no market. In many curbside bins, I see plastic bags that clog up the sorting machinery, styrofoam egg cartons, greasy pizza boxes and plastic containers with #3 through #7 labels. This unnecessarily adds to our curbside recycling costs as they need to sort them out and truck them to the landfill.

Click here to see what TFC Recycling trucks want from YOU.

Important info — Colonial Williamsburg’s Recycling Center was meant only for residents, hotels and businesses within CW and they are doing an outstanding job. But they cannot handle recyclables from the general public, although I had been told so a while back and promoted this location. Please, NO MORE!

Mike Hornby, CW’s Director of Business Operations, says “Due to overwhelming response, our Recycling Center was inundated with more than our program was set up to handle. We ask the general public to understand that we cannot accept items that are not picked up curbside.”

Yikes— So what are we to do with all those #3–7 plastics in our area? The chasing arrows logos on almost all plastics do not guarantee that they are recyclable in your area, only that they are recyclable in SOME cities like Philadelphia.

Whole Foods’ “Gimme 5” program offers bins for rinsed out #5 yogurt and sour cream containers. You might stack them up under your sink for your next drive to Richmond.

Or save all your #3-7 stuff for your next trip to the City of Brotherly Love. We are lucky that our son lives there and will find our next visit quite amusing.