Recycling: You May Be Doing it Wrong

By: Chris Brunner

Throwing items into the recycling bin, but aren’t sure you’re doing it right? Chances are you may not be. It’s easy to forget what can and cannot be recycled, so here’s a refresher for environmentally conscious residents.

Remember the days when residents had to sort their recycling? Tamarac uses “single-stream” recycling with Waste Management, which means that all recyclable materials can be placed in the same cart.  It’s so easy to recycle that there isn’t any reason not too.  Just remember a few things that don’t go into the cart.

Things to Avoid

Do not use plastic bags. Do not place any plastic bags in the recycling carts and do not put recyclable materials in plastic bags.

Avoid placing household garbage and non-recyclable materials such as Styrofoam cups, plastic plates and utensils, plastic bags, etc. into recycling carts. This can decrease the value of the recyclables and reduce the revenue paid to the city.

Cleanliness is essential. Waste Management accepts plastic containers, bottles, jars, jugs, even soda bottles however, one dirty product, or one with food waste still in it, can contaminate an entire bale, Make sure it’s clean. Same with empty pizza boxes. if it’s dirty, put it in the trash.

Got milk? Well, paper cartons are recyclable, however, plastic ones are not.

Avoid placing household garbage and non-recyclable materials such as Styrofoam cups, plastic plates and utensils, plastic bags, etc. into recycling carts. This can decrease the value of the recyclables and reduce the revenue paid to the City.

Never put hazardous waste or old electronics in your recycling or regular garbage. Residents in Tamarac can participate in drop-off events for these items, hosted in conjunction with other local cities. Keep reading Tamarac Talk where we post those dates each month.

Do Recycle

Plastic Containers #1 – #7 (no caps or lids)
Newspaper and magazines – even glossy pages
Junk mail and mixed paper
Cereal boxes
Cardboard (24×24 pieces or less)
Cans: Aluminum, Steel, & Tin
Milk cartons
Juice boxes
Glass food & beverage containers (clear, green, and brown glass containers only)

Don’t Recycle

Plastic bags
Plastic container caps or lids
Styrofoam
Plastic “to go” containers
Miscellaneous plastic, e.g. toys
Miscellaneous metals, e.g. pots, pans, utensils, scrap metal
Window or auto glass
Light bulbs
Mirrors
Glass or ceramic cookware
Pizza box bottoms or other materials with food residue

Have questions?  Then give customer service at Waste Management a call at (866) 684-3142.