The Problem of Recycling Contamination

The Problem of Recycling Contamination

The Problem of Recycling Contamination

There is a significant problem confronting the recycling center in New Jersey, and it is “recycling contamination.” In case you’re wondering what we mean by “recycling contamination,” it is when people put the wrong or incorrect item in the recyclable bin. It also means when the right or ideal materials/items are prepared the wrong way.

When recycling contamination can occur

If you are collecting a particular material or item for recycling, any other item or material added to the list could be regarded as a contaminant.

4 Examples of Recycling Contamination

  1. Paper and Cardboard

    These include bubble wrap, shrink wrap, newspaper bags, Ziploc bags, trash bags and other items made from plastic materials, including thin plastic, are the worst of all recycling contaminants.

  2. Food Waste

    This refers to recyclables that hold more than 8% of the food residue they once carried.

  3. Brightly Colored Paper

    One item that reduces the value of recycling at the recycling center in New Jersey is brightly colored paper. They have the potential to contaminate and spoil and the whole badge of proper paper recycling. However, colored papers that have white in the center when torn can be recycled.

  4. Bio-hazardous Waste

    Items containing human fluids such as syringes, diapers, needles, and such other sanitary products are not recyclable and should be avoided because they are dangerous to handle.

  5. Oil

    There are waste oils from trucks, motorcycles, and cars’ engines which in turn lead to environmental problems. It leads to the pollution of water which has a far-reaching effect on wildlife, humans and sea life. The waste oil is re-processed into heating oil which is highly valuable, and which will eventually keep our waterways clean.

Why it is important to look critically at recyclable contamination

Recycling contamination has severe consequences for the value of recyclable products. Below are some reasons why it is crucial to fighting against contamination.

  • Contamination causes severe problems in sorting out recyclables at the recycling center in New Jersey. It also makes it difficult for the correct materials to be processed into products.
  • A little level of contamination in a recyclable bin can render the original materials useless and waste to be sent to the landfill.
  • Contaminants like plastic bags can damage recycling machinery by wrapping around machine shafts and axles during sorting. This will further delay the recycling process as the sorters have to remove them manually.
  • When non-recyclables and dangerous items form part of what is to be recycled and are brought to the recycling center in New Jersey, the staffs who have to sort them out could be exposed to potentially dangerous and hazardous waste and airborne transmittable diseases.
  • There are lots of value placed on the plastic, paper, cardboard and metal items that form part of your recyclable inventory. But the presence of the few contaminants can sharply reduce or eliminate the quality and value of those items. This will further reduce the market value of recyclables while increasing the cost of service.

How to prevent recyclable contamination

  1. Effective Communication

    Keep in touch with your provider to learn what is needed and what is not needed. Effective communication goes a long way to resolving most of the problems inherent in recycling collections.

  2. Undertake Proper Separation

    You can easily prevent most contaminants by labeling each recyclable container with a tag indicating what can be recycled and what cannot be recycled. This will make it easier for sorting.

  3. Be Clean

    It is people, not machines, that do the sorting of the materials you are recycling. If they are not around to do it, these materials will become trash. So you too can help them and make their work more accessible by keeping your recyclable items as clean as a dollar bill.

All County Recycling to the rescue

Do you have any recyclable items you want to recycle? Call us at All County Recycling and will tell you what to do and help bring your materials to the recycling center in New Jersey. We are looking forward to meeting.