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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have always been in the habit of putting any plastics in the recycle bin without looking at the number. DH pointed out that i was putting things in the bin that the city won't take as recycling. our city takes # 1 & 2, but not 4 & 7.

i'm sure i have put things in the bin that perhaps shouldn't have been. but, now i wonder - what do you think happens to them? and yes, i can call city hall and ask, but i wondered if anyone had any experience with this.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Catubodua View Post
I have always been in the habit of putting any plastics in the recycle bin without looking at the number. DH pointed out that i was putting things in the bin that the city won't take as recycling. our city takes # 1 & 2, but not 4 & 7.

i'm sure i have put things in the bin that perhaps shouldn't have been. but, now i wonder - what do you think happens to them? and yes, i can call city hall and ask, but i wondered if anyone had any experience with this.

They get thrown away.
 

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they will either get thrown away individually, or they will be considered too much contamination, and the whole "lot" will be thrown away. Either way, this is a sure-fire way to get the city to abandon the whole notion of recycling because it is too costly for them.

Houston added all numbers this summer, so the only thing they don't pick up is large toys, #6, plastic bags, or styrofoam.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
interesting. when we moved in, we didn't have any sort of instruction on what could go in our recycle bins - and most folks here just have plain white buckets they use for recycling so it never really occurred to me that there were different levels of recycling until DH was telling me the last town he lived in had pretty specific rules.

we had to go online and dig around the city's website to find the info on the numbers they took.

gosh, i hate throwing away stuff that looks like it could be a recycle item. i'll have to try to call and see if other towns take it or if there are other options.
 

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yeah, interesting. My city will take #1-7. pretty much everything besides plastic bags. It's weird though cause they bundle everything and ship it all to Colorado to recycle... but in Denver, they only take certain plastics
 

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Around here it'd wind up just getting tossed in the trash. Because our recycling is not separated at the curb, it all goes to central processing to be separated, and that includes removing non-recyclables.

I will say though that we've always tossed everything in the bin, even knowing they don't recycle it. And last year they changed their rules and are now recycling more plastics. We are in the position though of recycling being mandated.
 

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they will either get thrown away individually, or they will be considered too much contamination, and the whole "lot" will be thrown away. Either way, this is a sure-fire way to get the city to abandon the whole notion of recycling because it is too costly for them.
This in interesting to me. My ILs live in a place with curbside recycling. They went from not recycling to throwing everything they possibly can into the bin....including the bags from microwave popcorn and metal lined cardboard from canned nuts and such. I'm afraid that they're getting the whole batches thrown out. If they are doing this, then a certain percentage of everyone else is too. If that's the case, how do the cities ever manage to actually recycle anything for the batches getting dumped? And, what is the solution?
 

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Originally Posted by Manonash View Post
This in interesting to me. My ILs live in a place with curbside recycling. They went from not recycling to throwing everything they possibly can into the bin....including the bags from microwave popcorn and metal lined cardboard from canned nuts and such. I'm afraid that they're getting the whole batches thrown out. If they are doing this, then a certain percentage of everyone else is too. If that's the case, how do the cities ever manage to actually recycle anything for the batches getting dumped? And, what is the solution?
This would be worth investigating. I live in Houston, and periodically, the recycling center is overloaded, and they dump recycling in the landfill. When it happens, the rumor mill gets churning fast, and it's obvious that the city *knows* they are doing something they should not be doing. I haven't heard of it happening lately, but when batches are contaminated, it really IS NOT financially justifiable to separate unless your city is designed for whole-waste-separation (I think San Francisco has a system in place for that, but I may be wrong).

What your IL's are doing is reprehensible, and it's part of the reason people are convinced that recycling is pointless and not cost-effective.

As convinced as I am that recycling is the right thing to do, I can not find fault in the "dump it all" reaction. Which is why I tend to be loud and annoying when people recycle "wrong".


--janis
 

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This reminds me that I need to call the company our HOA contracts with to pick up trash and recycling. Last I heard (this past summer), they only take #1 and #2 plastic (along with other specific items).

Last week, we had a playgroup holiday party and us moms were discussing recycling "rules" in our various neighborhoods. (We started out as a baby hiking playgroup and, thus, live in diverse areas of the county.) The mom who was hosting was talking to her parents who live in a completely different state and found out their area had recently gone to recycling #1 - #7 plastic. She thought to herself that her area is always ahead of their area in this regard, so she called up the company who picks up her trash and recycling and found out they, too, are now picking up #1 - #7. She says she never saw a notice nor could she find it online, etc. She is excited nonetheless, as were the rest of us. LOL We were planning ways to give her all of our #3 - #7 plastics! LOL

I have been in contact with our HOA property management group since the summer regarding recycling (among other things). I spoke directly with the contracted company, also, and received two-sided cards explaining what they take and do not take and shared with the prop. mgmt. company. They have been including the information in our monthly newsletter that goes to every homeowner in the HOA. I noticed a recent notice (November's newsletter) that specified certain things being allowed and certain things NOT being allowed...most notably the request to NOT put plastic bags in the recycling, even when marked with #1 or #2.

However, the company who picks up at my friend's house is the same company who picks up at our house (which is different than the regular company for both areas, to make things really confusing...LOL). We are trying to figure out if there are multiple facilities now since the "rules" used to be the same for all of us (in our playgroup, which included 3 cities and 4-5 trash companies). Perhaps they are capable of taking more, but are increasing it slowly in order to troubleshoot potential issues? I wonder...

In any case, I plan to call on a regular work day to ask questions.
 

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interesting question......

where i live they only take #1 & #2 plastics, and a list of other items. i WISH they would take #1-#7! i HATE to throw those containers in the trash.
:
 

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Just to clarify: actually, they do not collect #6, which IMO is a problem. #6 is the most common! And if you want the public to support things like this, it needs to be easy.

I confess that I do not know what they do when they get #6 in the loads. I'm positive there is a LOT of that. I've been a little too preoccupied with being pregnant to get more involved with this!

--janis
 

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Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post
yeah, interesting. My city will take #1-7. pretty much everything besides plastic bags. It's weird though cause they bundle everything and ship it all to Colorado to recycle... but in Denver, they only take certain plastics

I live in CO and we can recycle #1-7 in my county.
 

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Here we seem to have eagle-eyed people picking up the recycling; I try my best to only put out what they take 1-7, but no deli containers or gladwear stuff. Well when I get it wrong I will go the the curb to pick up my tub & the "wrong" item will be sitting in there. So here it seems they stay at my house, but I think at most places the "wrong" stuff just gets picked out.

I usually bundle those other items up & take them to a friend's house where they do take them. I wish our curb side would take bags, but the grocery store does so I just save up a ton & bring them down.
 

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Originally Posted by Mercury_Girl View Post
I wish our curb side would take bags, but the grocery store does so I just save up a ton & bring them down.

Eek! May I repectfully suggest using cloth bags? Most grocery stores are now selling "greenbags" which are recycled plastic. Mine have been lasting forever even though I wash them with towels every so often. Recently, a few seams splite, but I just sewed them right up.

They are only about a buck each, but money is tight for me, so what I did was just buy one each week until I had 6 and now I don't have to take sposie bags any more.
 

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Originally Posted by blessedwithboys View Post
Eek! May I repectfully suggest using cloth bags? Most grocery stores are now selling "greenbags" which are recycled plastic. Mine have been lasting forever even though I wash them with towels every so often. Recently, a few seams splite, but I just sewed them right up.

They are only about a buck each, but money is tight for me, so what I did was just buy one each week until I had 6 and now I don't have to take sposie bags any more.

I do use cloth shopping bags, I was talking about all the other bags. The suet I put out for the birds comes in #4 bags, went my roomie buys her shop tools many of the smaller parts come with #4 bags, the once in a rare while I get to the store & didn't bring enough bags in with me. I was really surprised, & pleasantly so, at how many of the bags that things come in are recyclable anymore. I bring them down once a year or so.
 

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I don't have a link handy, but what I have read in enviro magazines is that #6 cannot be recycled because of its fragility (it just doesn't make anything useful a second time around) and most #7 isn't recycled because that's the "other" category so it includes a lot of things, such as layered materials that are too difficult to separate, and a recycling plant is unlikely to get enough of one type of "other" to bother with it. Therefore, recycling programs that take #6 and #7 are doing so just so consumers don't have to check numbers, and are throwing it away.

Recycling plants have gotten more sophisticated this decade. Many now have sorting machines that can distinguish different plastics by shining a light through them, etc. It's not all people turning every bottle upside down and squinting at the number--although that's probably still the situation in some places. When recyclables are sorted by people, it's more likely that a bag with a few non-recyclables on top will get tossed into the trash to save time.

The more different materials your program allows you to mix in one bag, the more likely it is that they are machine-sorting rather than human-sorting.
 
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