Author: Suzie Vance, EnviroPerks
Most of us recycle because it’s the right thing to do. We want a cleaner, greener planet, and this is one way that we can do our part. We think that we’re recycling responsibly. But, are we? Maybe not.
In Hollywood FL, there is one contaminant that can be found in 80% of household recycling carts. Chances are that you’ve put these misunderstood little guys in YOUR recycling cart at one time or another—and thought that this was the right thing to do. Alas, that wouldn’t have been right. Can you guess what these common contaminants are? They’re PLASTIC BAGS!
Yes, these seemingly innocuous little bits of flimsy plastic that we all bring home on a regular basis are contaminating our recycling. Being the avid recyclers that we are, we want to recycle them responsibly, just like everything else that we recycle. Now, we’re supposed to put plastic in the recycling cart, right? Normally, the correct answer would be YES. Plastic bags are, after all, made of plastic. But plastic bags are an exception to the norm in this case.
Conveyor belts feed the recycling into rotating tunnels, onto spinning wheels, and past magnets and eddy currents to separate the plastic, glass, paper, aluminum, and steel cans. Plastic bags cannot be sorted from other materials by existing machinery. Instead, they get caught in the conveyor belts and jam spinning wheels, and can bring the entire sorting station to a halt. The bags then need to be found and removed by hand – a time consuming and often dangerous process that reduces the overall efficiency of the recycling station.
So, how can you responsibly recycle your plastic bags? One thing you could do is to use them as liners for trashcans; then throw them away along with the trash. Or, take them to a local collection center. Publix has bins available for this exact purpose. Doing either one, or both, of these things will enable you to dispose of your plastic bags responsibly.
Now that you’ve done such a great job of ensuring that you don’t have plastic bags in your recycling cart, is there anything else should you know about recycling in Hollywood FL? You bet!
First, all of your recyclables should be clean, dry, and loose in the cart (not in bags). Rinse out containers that previously contained food, cleaners, soaps, etc., before putting them in your recycling cart. If it has food, soap, chemicals, etc., on it, it isn’t really recyclable.
Second, you should set out your cart every recycling day—even if it is not full. Every time your recycling cart is emptied, you get points for recycling! Then you can get even more cool discounts from EnviroPerks!
Third, make sure that your recycling bin is in good, clean, useable condition. If your cart is ever damaged or needs to be replaced, you can request a repair or new cart on the City’s website or call the City of Hollywood FL at 943-967-4526. Make sure that you have your cart’s serial number available, and be prepared to describe the problem, i.e., need new lid, loose wheel, etc.
The City of Hollywood FL wants to encourage all of its residents to recycle often and recycle responsibly. So remember, no plastic bags in the recycling cart, and make sure that everything in the bin is clean before tossing it in; Set it out each recycling pick-up day so that you get your points; and use your reward points to SHOP, SHOP, SHOP! Happy recycling, Hollywood!