If your household participates in the Clinton County Solid Waste Management District’s drop-off recycling program, you may have noticed some recent changes to the labels on the big green drop-off containers.
On the sides of each container as well as banners at several locations, you will find bright, new labels serving as instructions with pictures regarding what types of items can be recycled.
The SWMD staff would like to use this time to offer a refresher course on proper recycling. While some of our more seasoned recyclers may think they do not need such a refresher, we assure you that most do!
The recycling industry is dynamic and ever-changing as it responds directly to the wants and needs of the regional manufacturing sector.
In other words, the rules are always subject to change based on market forces.
The most recent changes reflect new and expanded materials accepted in the co-mingled green containers. Now the program can accept new paper materials including cartons (orange juice, milk, broth, etc.) as well as paper board (cereal and tissue boxes etc.) as well as new plastic materials referred to as “tubs.” Tubs can include plastic yogurt cups, fruit cups, butter and whipped topping containers.
Why the change? Simple — there is now a manufacturer working with Rumpke Recycling to produce a new product from these materials.
While discussing these changes with residents, we have heard some say “I’ve been recycling those things for years in this program!”
Well, to be honest — no, they have not.
What they have been doing is effectively contaminating the otherwise good recyclable materials with non-recyclable items for years.
We also hear “plastic is plastic—it’s all the same.” To this, we then say if “plastic is plastic”, then “metal is metal”, and we will gladly trade you some iron for some gold. (No one has actually taken us up on this proposition yet, but we remain hopeful!)
There are actually seven different types of plastic, each with varying chemical properties.
The good news is that you don’t have to be a scientist to know which kind of plastics can be recycled in our program, nor do you have to be able to identify those tiny numbers printed on the bottoms of your containers.
Instead, simply read the label on the sides of our green recycling bins and ask yourself, “Is my plastic one of the items specifically listed on the label (a bottle, jug, jar, or tub)?” If your plastic item is commonly referred to by one of those names, then it can be recycled in our program.
However, any other items (i.e. buckets, bags, flower pots, etc.) are just contaminating all the good recyclables.
Recycling really is just that simple!
Our goal is to keep it easy for everyone – from young children to senior citizens. The instructional labels on every recycling bin are designed to be very specific, with no exceptions.
If you have to think too long about whether or not something is recyclable, then chances are it’s likely not accepted in our program.
Please look over the new labels the next time you drop-off your recyclables, or check out our website for more information at www.co.clinton.oh.us/Recycling . And feel free to email us at [email protected] with any questions.