Throughout the summer, staff complete visual assessments of green (organics) and blue (recycling) carts for contamination and materials that don't belong. Residents either:
Incorrect items found in green carts include:
Plastic (i.e. dog waste bags, garbage bags).
Bags need to be certified compostable, paper or newspaper. Plastic is NOT allowed in the green cart.
Incorrect items found in blue carts include:
Multi-material items: these can't be separated at the sorting facility (i.e. separating paper portion of Pringles© can from metal bottom)
Polystyrene packaging foam: Causes a large mess as it easily breaks apart; we have a dedicated recycling program for it where it is contained and processed on site at the Recycle Depot
Plastic drink lids and other small items with a recycling symbol: These items are too small and light to be captured by the machinery at the sorting facility. Better option is to use a reusable mug/tumbler/water bottle when able to.
Plastic in green carts: Organic material breaks down into a nutrient dense soil ammedement product in an eight week period. Plastic would be left after this time and not allow the final product to be used for agriculture purposes.
Overfilled or heavy green carts: The truck automatically lifts the cart with mechanical arms, and when collecting an overweight cart it could fall into the truck or easily slip and fall. If overfilled with large material (yard waste) it can blow around.
Electronics and household hazardous waste: These items in any cart pose a danger to collection contractors and staff at sorting facilities as they can cause fires, get tangled up and stop the sorting lines. Bringing them to the Recycle Depot will allow them to be properly recycled and disposed of.