2009-02-05 / Letters

Please Recycle Properly

To The Editor:

The use of the four recycling drop boxes in the county has really grown in recent months. I think it is great that residents see the economic, social and environmental value of recycling. To those folks who are recycling the appropriate material and saving valuable natural resources, I heartily shake your hand.

Unfortunately, in any population, there always seem to be people who either don't care, don't pay attention or find it a burden to do things the proper way. O that note ...

The recycling bins are not trash dumpsters. Trash does not belong in the recycling bins. Also, plastic bags are not accepted in this recycling program. If you have items in plastic bags (of any sort), empty out the contents and reuse your bag. If you see someone putting a garbage bag of material in a recycling bin, ask them to empty the contents (if they're recyclables) of the bag and take the bag home.

Recycling the proper plastic seems to be a challenge for people. The only plastic that is accepted in this recycling program is containers in the shape of a jug/bottle. In other words, the neck is narrower than the body. If your plastic material does not fit this description, it is not recyclable in our program. So, no plastic bags, no plastic wrap, no yogurt, cottage cheese, or butter tubs (wrong shape), no "clam shell" containers, no Tupperware or similar container, no styrofoam, no platters, no packaging, no shower curtains, etc. Again, the neck must be narrower than the body, otherwise leave it out.

This drop-off recycling program cannot accept scrap metal. The only metal that is acceptable needs to be in the form of a can. Please take scrap metal to a scrap yard.

On to glass. One day I pulled a feed sack full of broken safety glass out of a recycling bin. That bin had a sign on it that read "glass bottles only" no light bulbs, no window glass, no drinking glasses, etc. Please, recycle glass food and beverage containers only.

Most people are pretty good with paper and cardboard recycling, except for sometimes forgetting to break down and flatten boxes. Also, please remove and discard the styrofoam, peanuts, bubble wrap, etc., that might be in your box. I would like to remind people that used facial tissues, used paper plates and used coffee filters are not acceptable.One last note, this is a voluntary program, there are no local employees, no one gets paid to clean up after you. I understand the bins are not always wide open and full of space. I think that's a good thing, it shows that people are recycling. Drop-off boxes are not switched out until they are completely full; it's not economically sound to do otherwise. So, if the bin is getting full, carefully rearrange things, make some space, do not leave your bags of recyclables laying on the ground around the bin.

The recycling industry is facing the same difficult economic times as everyone else. If the material we send to the recycling facility is not "clean," if it contains nonrecyclable material, then it will no longer be economically viable for them to accept our material and our program will end. That, folks, is the bottom line. Our program shrunk once before because of contamination issues, let's not lose it again.

So, recycle away, but for everyone's sake, do it properly.

Greg Reineke

Fulton Co. Conservation District

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