Back to the Basics - Curbside Recycling Pickup

Back to the Basics

Many municipalities around the country will acknowledge the 48th celebration of Earth Day on Sunday, April 22nd, 2018 by highlighting their recycling programs.  It’s a great time to talk about the importance of basic recycling standards and what is necessary to keep our local recycling systems strong.

Recycling Industry Update

The recycling industry is grappling with a dual threat: The value of recovered recyclable products has plummeted over the past couple of years and the amount of contamination in the recycling has risen. Too much garbage is present in the recycling stream, clogging sorting facilities and contaminating good recyclables.

As recycling costs are rising, the demand for recycled materials is falling.  Recently China has imposed bans on purchasing recycled materials.  Meanwhile low oil prices have increased the use of virgin materials for products reducing the demand for recycled material.  For reference articles please see the end of letter. I’ve included a talk by the President of one of the mills that reuses our sorted paper.

As your local service provider and the recycling sorting facility operator, it is our job to help your community keep the trash out of the recycling stream and thus keep our local recycling systems strong.

How do we keep the trash out of the recycling stream?  Together, let’s tackle the problem head on and get back to the basics of recycling. 

Local Action Requested

Contamination rates at the recycling material recovery facility are increasing.  We are finding that well-intentioned residents are putting things that they think should or could be recycled in the bins:

  • Residents should only put approved recyclables in their recycling cart.  For a current recycling list please visit our recycling page.
  • Recycling carts with any visible trash or non-recyclables in them will be tagged with a notice of non-pickup due to contamination and not serviced.
  • If your community owns its own carts please remind residents which color cart is designated for recycling.

We are asking that you please support our initiative to clean up the recycling stream and communicate with your residents the above two (or three) components of our ‘back to the basics’ recycling standards.  We will also be communicating via email to all residents that have signed up with us to receive notifications.

Danielle Pellitteri
V.P. of Sales 

Articles for Reference

        Speaking at the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) "Markets or   Bust" workshop, Myles Cohen, president of Pratt Recycling, touched on several topics, including the volatility of commodities markets and the ineffectiveness of recycling rates.  The last two lines offer some succinct insights.  “Part of the purpose is to cut out well-intentioned, what we call wishful, recycling because what is recyclable is a different definition in different communities. We’re also trying to limit (is) the amount of bad recycling where people are using their recycling bin as an extra trash bin.”  Waste Dive April 4, 2018