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You're Probably Recycling Wrong

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  • You're Probably Recycling Wrong

    One Bad Pig mentioned this in another thread.

    It makes sense to me. One should make an attempt to sort refuse, rather than throw it all together. When we went from bins to poly carts is when this problem started. Though the waste companies have simply made bad business decisions by wagering oil prices would remain high.

    Credit to original author:
    http://www.citylab.com/navigator/201...-wrong/396683/

    Maybe you’ve found yourself mystified by the symbols and rules of recycling. Counterintuitively, the single-stream system—which allows residents to toss any and all recyclables into one bin—hasn’t cleared up the confusion. Many people simply throw in anything made out of plastic, glass, or metal and hope for the best. But this assorted jumble can cause big issues once it arrives at the processing plant.

    The problem with the anything-goes approach is that non-recyclable materials can get mixed in with and contaminate recyclables, reducing the value of the batch as a whole. This effect increases with the volume of recycling. The Washington Post reported that contamination rose significantly in Washington, D.C., after the city installed larger residential recycling bins in 2014, leading to a 50 percent drop in the share of the city’s profit from selling recyclables. Across the country, municipalities are paying more to process and haul away these undesirable outputs. “By pushing to increase recycling rates with bigger and bigger bins—while demanding almost no sorting by consumers—the recycling stream has become increasingly polluted and less valuable, imperiling the economics of the whole system,” wrote the Post.

    Small scraps of paper

    Hoover says it’s “virtually impossible” to separate these shreds from the other materials rolling down the conveyor belt. ”They end up becoming part of the residue that’s left over at the end because they’re so tiny,” says Hoover. “I can’t even pull them out by hand.”

    However, that doesn’t mean paper scraps can’t be recycled—just don’t dump them directly into the blue bin. Instead, Hoover says, you can place them in a paper bag, staple it shut, and write “SHREDDED PAPER” on the outside. A person at the processing plant will recognize the bag, remove it from the rest of the recycling stream, and sort it into the paper products.
    Condiment packets

    Whether they hold soy sauce, ketchup, mustard, or some other liquid, all these packets are made out of plastic or an aluminum-plastic combination. “There’s nobody recycling those right now,” Hoover says, so you’re better off throwing them in the garbage.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Sea of red View Post
    One Bad Pig mentioned this in another thread.

    It makes sense to me. One should make an attempt to sort refuse, rather than throw it all together. When we went from bins to poly carts is when this problem started. Though the waste companies have simply made bad business decisions by wagering oil prices would remain high.

    Credit to original author:
    http://www.citylab.com/navigator/201...-wrong/396683/
    Where I live here in Oz we have minimal sorting - greens in one bin, plastics and paper in another and general rubbish in a third.

    Back in the end/new year of 2004/2005, I spent four weeks in Japan, living with a family there. Boy do they sort. And you get a mild reprimand if you leave even a bit of paper on a piece of plastic and put it all in the plastic bin. All that paper gets peeled off and put in the paper bin.

    Once you get used to the idea, it's not all that hard to accept. It might seem tedious and fiddly at first, but it's not too bad.

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    • #3
      The city government where I live pays lip service to recycling. If they're running behind you can watch them dump the recyclables and trash into one truck. I really doubt that they get sorted out after being repeatedly compressed.

      I'm always still in trouble again

      "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
      "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

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      • #4
        The solution is obvious - although it might not be feasible. If you want people to provide that labor, pay them for it. Otherwise, most won't waste that kind of time.

        "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


        "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

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        • #5
          Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
          The city government where I live pays lip service to recycling. If they're running behind you can watch them dump the recyclables and trash into one truck. I really doubt that they get sorted out after being repeatedly compressed.
          In Alaska recycling is just as foolish. We do not have recycling facilities here, so stuff is shipped via fossil fuel ships to the lower 48 to be processed. And all recycling materials go into a single recycling bin. The whole thing is an exercise in looking green. I am dubious of of most recycling outside of my compost bins.
          Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
            The city government where I live pays lip service to recycling. If they're running behind you can watch them dump the recyclables and trash into one truck. I really doubt that they get sorted out after being repeatedly compressed.
            Please clarify this for me.

            Are you saying you don't think the materials are sorted?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Jedidiah View Post
              In Alaska recycling is just as foolish. We do not have recycling facilities here, so stuff is shipped via fossil fuel ships to the lower 48 to be processed. And all recycling materials go into a single recycling bin. The whole thing is an exercise in looking green. I am dubious of of most recycling outside of my compost bins.
              Not a good attitude to have.

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              • #8
                All our stuff goes into one bag. Most of it is paper, but clean cans and bottles also go in. We are not allowed to recycle anything styrofoam, which goes into the landfill.

                I do not put shredded paper into the recycling. I still don't trust people, regardless of the shredding. It goes into the garbage.

                I assume the recyclables are sorted somewhere.


                Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sea of red View Post
                  Not a good attitude to have.
                  What? Jed being dubious? You are quite dubious about a lot of other WAY more important stuff.



                  Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sea of red View Post
                    Not a good attitude to have.
                    I think that it is based on the fact that where Jed lives (Alaska) they would expend for more resources collecting and sorting the recyclables than they would save.

                    I'm always still in trouble again

                    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                    "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

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                    • #11
                      Can you explain? ETA: In the light of post by Rogue particularly.
                      Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jedidiah View Post
                        Can you explain? ETA: In the light of post by Rogue particularly.
                        I'm sorry that I don't know the economics of waste management in Alaska - which was not the point of this thread. You might contact a local municipality for more information.

                        I honestly don't know.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mossrose View Post
                          What? Jed being dubious? You are quite dubious about a lot of other WAY more important stuff.

                          What do you mean?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mossrose View Post
                            All our stuff goes into one bag. Most of it is paper, but clean cans and bottles also go in. We are not allowed to recycle anything styrofoam, which goes into the landfill.

                            I do not put shredded paper into the recycling. I still don't trust people, regardless of the shredding. It goes into the garbage.

                            I assume the recyclables are sorted somewhere.
                            They have machines that electronically sort the materials.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Sea of red View Post
                              What do you mean?
                              I mean you are an atheist, but that has nothing to do with recycling, so I will leave it alone.



                              Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

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