Celebrating National Recycling Week
The second week of November is typically known as National Recycling Week. We see this as a time to reflect on the importance of recycling in preserving our environment and conserving valuable resources. At BVR Waste & Recycling, we're dedicated to making the world cleaner and more sustainable. You’re never too old for a proper recycling refresher- how to do it well and why it matters. We have several other articles to read to extend your recycling knowledge. The importance of recycling cannot be overstated. For the sake of the community you’re in, it's crucial not to contaminate the recycling process with non-recyclable items. Here’s how we recommend achieving that.
The Basics of Recycling
Recycling is the process of converting used materials into new, useful products. It's a critical part of reducing waste and conserving our planet's resources. Here's a simple guide to get you started on your recycling journey:
1. Know What Can Be Recycled:
Paper and cardboard: Newspapers, magazines, cardboard boxes, office paper, and more.
Glass: Bottles and jars (clear, green, and brown).
Plastic: Bottles, containers, and packaging labeled with recycling symbols (look for numbers 1-7).
Metal: Aluminum cans, steel cans, and tin cans.
Read about the journey of a recycled can HERE!
2. Clean and Empty Containers:
Rinse out food containers, bottles, and jars to remove any residue. This helps prevent contamination and ensures a higher quality of recycled materials.
3. Separate Materials:
Keep different materials separate to maintain their quality. Use separate bins or bags for paper, glass, plastic, and metal.
4. Avoid Hazardous Materials:
Do not put hazardous materials like batteries, electronics, or chemicals in your recycling bin. These can be dangerous and must be disposed of properly.
5. Say No to Plastic Bags:
Plastic bags can clog recycling machinery. Instead, take them to a dedicated drop-off location at your local grocery store.
Read about the benefits of paper bags HERE.
6. Check Local Guidelines:
Different areas may have specific guidelines for recycling. Familiarize yourself with your local recycling program to ensure you follow the correct procedures.
If you’re a resident of Washington County, view our acceptable materials document below.
The Impact of Contamination
With proper practice in mind, here’s why it's crucial to avoid contaminating the recycling process:
1. Preserving Quality:
Contamination with non-recyclable items like food waste, plastic bags, or hazardous materials lowers the quality of recycled materials. This can lead to products of lower quality and value. For example, if one household throws their food in their recycle bin, and our trucks pick it up, it can infect the whole neighborhood’s meticulously separated recyclables.
2. Preventing Damage to Equipment:
Recycling facilities use specialized machinery to process materials. Contaminants can damage this equipment, leading to costly repairs and downtime.
3. Reducing Environmental Impact:
Contaminated materials often end up in landfills or are incinerated, contributing to environmental harm. Proper recycling ensures materials are reused and repurposed, minimizing waste.
4. Maintaining Market Demand:
High-quality recycled materials are in demand by manufacturers. Contaminated materials are less valuable and may not find a market, reducing the incentive for recycling.
As we celebrate National Recycling Week, remember that every small effort makes a big difference. By following these simple steps and avoiding contamination, we can contribute to a cleaner, greener planet. BVR Waste & Recycling is committed to supporting you on your recycling journey. Together, we can make a positive impact on our environment and build a more sustainable future. Happy recycling!