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What Happens When You Don’t Recycle Properly

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Have you thought about the things that you throw into the trash bin? Have you ever considered what will happen to your recyclables when it gets to the recycling facility? What if you’ve thrown in a glass jar into the bin for paper recyclables? What if you threw an item (deliberately or mistakenly) into the wrong bin? Does it even matter?

If you’ve not given much thought to proper recycling, you should know that you might just be contributing more to the landfill. And you know that’s not good news when you want to help the planet.

Improper recycling leads to trash just getting dumped.

If the recycling center receives mishandled trash, these things are headed for the landfill. That’s because undergoing another round of sorting and sifting through the trash can be time-consuming and cost-inefficient so recycling centers usually resort to just dumping them out.

Everyone is guilty of throwing trash in a recycling bin like putting a paper cup into the bin that’s only meant for plastics. Not being mindful about throwing garbage means that there will be an increased recycling contamination rate – or having the wrong stuff end up in recycling bins. And this is a problem that not only harms the environment.

Items that are not supposed to be where they are can clog up the machinery at the recycling center, bringing more problems like costly repairs and more manpower hours.

Americans are so bad at recycling, they need to clean up their act.

The United States, as well as other countries, outsource the handling of their recyclables to China. However, due to improper sorting and poor cleaning of recyclables coming from U.S. and other countries, Chino no longer accepts them as of Jan. 1, 2018.

Although modern technology has made recycling a lot easier, it still requires a person to follow up on the machines and sometimes, this person tends to miss important items getting mixed up with perfect recyclables – for instance, a dirty diaper.

Just imagine this piece of garbage getting mixed with a truck of recyclables. Obviously, this entire truck will be rejected and shipping it back-and-forth will have an environmental and economic impact.

The solution – be mindful of throwing out your recyclables and your trash.

Paying attention to your recyclables is an important step in making sure they end up where they should be. According to Republic Services, there are three easy ways to do this:

  • Know what should go into the recycling bin: cardboard, metal cans, paper, jugs, plastic bottles
  • Empty out. Clean. Dry – All those that are in the recycling bin should be free of liquid and food.
  • Avoid bagging recyclables or putting them in plastic

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