Two things you can do starting now:
Clean it up. The primary need is to reduce contamination. Current contamination levels of 25% are typical. This greatly increases the processing cost and reduces the value of the market bound material.
- Messaging about what to recycle must be more clear.
- There is a need to focus on the targeted material types.
- Get back to the basics we all understand. Bottles, cans, cartons, cups, and clean paper.
- Keep the food, foam and film (bags) out of the bin.
- Tanglers and junk, such as cords, hoses, string lights, coat hangers, don’t belong in the bin!
- When in doubt, check the local public works website for information.
Increase participation. Increasing participation will also reduce the cost per ton. A focused outreach program to encourage recycling is needed.