The Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has announced a statewide recycling education initiative to reduce contamination in recycling by asking residents to “do their part and recycle smart”.
Fifty percent of America’s recycling once was transported to China. In recent months, China has raised its quality standards to a highly selective system resulting in millions of tons of recycling sitting unsold around the world. Unfortunately, the burden of this change has come back to communities in the form of processing charges and contamination fees.
Recycling is a process of converting waste materials into reusable objects to prevent waste of potentially useful materials and reducing the consumption of energy usage and pollution. Citizens can help fight the rising cost of recycling by carefully adhering to the guidelines in place currently.
“The situation is still in flux as waste management assesses the world standards,” said Mayor Thomas Koch. “This latest information is a helpful reference for all of us in the community.”
Four categories of materials are identified that every materials recovery facility (MRF) across the state accepts. They include mixed paper and cardboard, metal food and beverage cans, glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles, jars, jugs and tubs.
The top five contaminants that MRFs do not want in recycling loads include bagged recyclables and bagged garbage, loose plastic bags/plastic wrap, food and liquids, clothing or linens, “tanglers” like hoses, wires, chains, strings of lights, etc.
Recyclables should not be bagged in plastic. They should be placed directly in recycling bins. All recycling items must be cleaned of all food and liquids and all caps must be replaced before recycled.
For a full list of recycling guidelines, visit RecycleSmartMA.org. that features the “Smart Recycling Guide.”