Recycling Product News Logo

Waste Management "myth-busting" tips offered as part of America Recycles Day celebrations

Tips from WM meant to help educate the public about current, common misconceptions in waste and recycling

Waste Management "myth-busting" tips offered as part of America Recycles Day celebrations

America Recycles Day (November 15) is an annual initiative by the organization Keep America Beautiful to promote recycling in the United States. The day is meant to shine a light on the reality that while Americans want and try to recycle, knowledge gaps are preventing us from recycling as smartly and safely as we can. Spreading awareness of proper recycling practices is critical to mitigating the recycling contamination challenges we face in our cities and as a nation, and in ensuring a cleaner, more sustainable future for us all. 

The following "myth-busting" tips from Waste Management Inc. are meant to help educate the public about current, common misconceptions about recycling.

[Also see our interview this week with WM's VP of Recycling Brent Bell. }

• MYTH #1: Most Americans recycle all they can. Convenience and commitment are required for maximum recycling. Ask yourself: is there more than one location in a household to store recyclables? If not, recyclables in areas outside the kitchen can get thrown away. Additionally, is there only one committed recycler in your household (the person who picks up after everyone)? Studies indicate making recycling a family/partner affair - where everyone participates -  leads to the most recycling of the right materials. 

• MYTH #2: Containers must be squeaky clean in order to be recycled. While all bottles, cans, and containers should be clean, dry, and free of most waste before you recycle them - they don't need to be spotless. Just make sure they're clean enough to avoid contaminating other materials, like paper. Try using a spatula to scrape cans and jars, or using a small amount of water and shake to remove most residue.

• MYTH #3: It doesn't matter if something does not belong in the recycling cart, the hauler will sort everything anyway. There are increasing amounts of non-recyclables and items that require special handling sent to Material Recovery Facilities. Every single one of them must be removed by hand by trained staff and/or mechanically sorted...or they end up contaminating high-value recyclables. Non-recyclable garbage and materials requiring special handling  placed in recycling increases the cost of the recycling process as well as the cost of waste and recycling collection services. 

- What's one of the biggest contaminants? Plastic bags. Plastic bags become wrapped around sorting equipment, requiring all machinery to be shut down. Workers must climb into the machinery to cut plastic bags out of gears and screens. Thankfully, an impactful and straightforward solution is to skip the bag and place recyclables directly into your container. 

In honor of America Recycles Day this year, Waste Management sponsored every America Recycles Day activity, in partnership with Keep America Beautiful and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, from Nov. 11 - 15. 

Activities kicked off this week with a presentation of the Recycling Hero Award, recognizing a veteran or active military personnel who exhibits an outstanding commitment to recycling. The week continued with an EPA and Keep America Beautiful Forum, an Innovation Fair featuring the greenest programs, and the America Recycles Summit in Washington, D.C. 

Read our RPN-exclusive interview with Waste Management's VP of Recycling, Brent Bell.

Company info

1001 Fannin Street
Houston, TX
US, 77002

Website:
wm.com

Read more

1010 Washington Boulevard
Stamford, CT
US, 06901

Website:
kab.org

Read more

More from Industry News

Sponsored Brought to you by: Machinex Logo

Discover the main features of a reliable & efficient baler

Single-Ram and II-Ram High-Capacity Balers

At Machinex, we've been designing sorting systems for over 35 years, so we know how essential it is for MRF operators to have a baler they can trust and not worry about its operational reliability. This is why we design and manufacture reliable single-ram and II-ram high-capacity balers to specifically help optimize their operations.

 Watch the video of our expert who presents the main features of Machinex balers delivering these important benefits:

  • Easy & accessible maintenance
  • Reduced maintenance & bale handling costs
  • Energy savings
  • Optimal bale density
Learn more
Sponsored Brought to you by: Komptech Americas LLC. Logo

How to streamline C&D waste processing to increase profitability

For C&D recyclers, waste haulers, demolition contractors and landfills, there is a growing opportunity to profit from rethinking processes. Although every operation is different, by streamlining the front end of the C&D operation processes with purpose-built technologies, recyclers can tap into new end markets, accommodate higher material volumes, stay ahead of regulatory restrictions, increase recovery rates and add commodity revenue, while decreasing labor and other costs.

Download the new eBook to learn about:

  • Finding opportunities in the alternative to landfilling C&D
  • How facilities can increase their profits from C&D
  • Using the right C&D processing technology in the right locations
Learn more

Get our newsletter

Get our newsletter

Subscribe to our free magazine

Get Our Magazine

Paper or Digital delivered monthly to you

Subscribe or Renew Learn more