Dear Recycle Lady,
I’m told you accept only #1 plastic bottles, but that you accept any #2 plastics. Is this correct? Confused Recycler
Dear Confused Recycler,
Your information is partially correct. It’s true that we accept #1 plastic bottles, such as water and soda bottles, but we also accept #1 plastic jugs. (Both bottles and jugs are defined as having a top smaller than the bottom and jugs are further defined as having a handle.) However, your information on #2 plastics is not correct as we only accept #2 clear plastic bottles and jugs and #2 colored plastic bottles and jugs. Thus, there are two bins for #2 plastics. One bin is for #2 clear plastic bottles and jugs, such as milk jugs that you can see through. The second bin is for #2 colored plastic bottles and jugs, such as Hersey’s Chocolate brown bottles or Tide’s orange detergent bottles or jugs. The reason the Recycling Center accepts only #1 and #2 plastic bottles and jugs is that those are the only kinds of plastics that our buyer will accept. Plastics, such as clam shells and berry containers that are not recyclable but are put in the plastic bins hoping they will recycle, are pulled off the conveyor belt and put in the trash.
Dear Recycle Lady,
I understand that small bottles and small pieces of paper can cause problems during processing. What about small business cards? Are they too small to recycle? Will they cause problems during processing also? Uses Business Cards
Dear Uses Business Cards,
Most small business cards are made of stiff white paper; thus, they are recyclable with office paper. If the business cards are made of colored paper or slick paper, they are recyclable with magazines. There are a few business cards that are made of plastic, which are not recyclable. Although business cards are small, their stiffness/thickness keeps them from being a problem when processing them and recycling them reduces the number of trees cut down, saves energy, and reduces the amount of trash sent to the landfill.
Dear Recycle Lady,
Can junk mail, sheets of computer paper, and shredded paper be included with newspaper? Mixed Up
Dear Mixed Up,
The types of paper you have named can’t be mixed up! None of it can be put in the bin with newspaper. Junk mail and computer paper go in the office paper bin and shredded paper needs to be put in a bag and tossed in the bin for shredded paper. Shredded paper should never be mixed with any kind of paper. Doing so requires many man-hours to remove the pieces of shredded paper that are all over the floor, the equipment, and the facility. An alternative to recycling shredded paper is to put it in your composter. Mixing shredded paper with compostable items from your kitchen (2/3 shredded paper to 1/3 kitchen scraps) will result in a rich, fertile plant food that improves soil. One word of caution – remove any plastic windows from envelopes and any plastic cards glued to the letters before putting the envelopes and letters in your shredder. If you accidentally shred some plastic windows, the small pieces of plastic can be removed from the compost as it is spread on your vegetables or flower beds.
Good News: In 2015, retailers in England began charging for single-use supermarket plastic bags. Official figures now show that the use of single-use supermarket plastic bags has fallen by 98% and that the average person buys only two single-use plastic bags a year. (fto.com)
Reuse and reduce waste: The Greenbrier County Humane Society uses shallow, open cardboard boxes that are about 3 inches or less high as litter boxes. These boxes can be taken to the Humane Society, 151 Holliday Lane, off US Route 60 West whenever it is convenient and left on the covered porch. They will be much appreciated.
Have questions about recycling, or interesting information about recycling? Send questions or requests to firstname.lastname@example.org. Dear Recycle Lady is sponsored jointly by the Greenbrier Recycling Center and Greenworks Recycling.
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