Keep Your Blue Bin Clean On America Recycles Day
Source: Santa Barbara Public Works Department
There’s no better time to do a quick check-up on your blue bin than America Recycles Day on November 15. Recycling markets have changed quite a bit lately, so what you may have put in your bin earlier this year might not be recyclable now. Some of our plastics, for example, used to be shipped to foreign markets, where they were processed and then sold to manufacturers overseas. New foreign policies, however, now make the export of recyclables to foreign countries very limited.
While recyclers in the United States gear up to build new facilities and increase domestic capacity, please only put the following items in your residential recycling bin:
- Glass bottles and jars
- Metal cans, pots, and pans
- Mixed paper, magazines, and newspapers
- Non-greasy cardboard
- Plastic containers with a #1 or #2 recycling symbol
- Rigid plastic containers with a #5 symbol, sized one-gallon or larger
If you’re unsure about a particular item not listed here, check Santa Barbara County’s waste reduction website, www.LessIsMore.org. Many of us “wish-cycle,” meaning we put items in the recycling bin if we’re not sure what to do with them. Material that is non-recyclable creates more work for the processing facilities and contributes to the residual trash that must be trucked back to our landfill. Take a moment to check LessIsMore.org or call your waste hauler if you’re not sure.
In addition to sections on recycling and reuse, www.LessIsMore.org provides information on hazardous waste disposal, food waste reduction, clean-up events, yard waste programs, and much more. The website was created and is maintained by the Resource Recovery and Waste Management Division of the County’s Public Works Department.
America Recycles Day is a nationally recognized event that strives to increase awareness about recycling. More information about this annual day can be found atwww.americarecyclesday.org.