Recycling do's and don't's

RecyclingMonster - Even as the Lucas County Solid Waste Management District’s plans to build a new recycling-sorting facility to save costs and help in sorting, the public must stop putting items in recycling bins that aren’t recyclable.

Material that is not recyclable clogs up machinery and contaminates truckloads of partially recyclable waste that then ends up in the landfill.

Blade reporter Kaitlin Durbin reported some of the rubbish that recently clogged the Republic Services facility in Oberlin, Ohio: Styrofoam, a wig, clothing, a gas can, a helium tank, garden hoses, a lawn chair, greasy pizza boxes, yard waste, a cupcake tin, LEGOs, and mounds of plastic bags.

We are told that Republic Services receives about 100 tons of recyclables from Toledo each day, of which about 30 percent is trash. We can do better than this.

A new materials recovery facility, or MRF, would reduce the $2 million the city spends to transport and process recyclables. The facility would cost between $5 million and $7 million. The location of this facility hasn’t been determined, but right now the county and the city and several larger municipalities and townships use the Kuhlman site located on South Avenue in South Toledo next to I-75 and across from the Hollywood Casino Toledo.

The facility would sort out paper and cardboard to be processed and sold locally and remove trash and residue to be thrown out. The remainder, made up of aluminum, glass, and plastics, would be shipped to Oberlin to be further separated and processed.

The public’s role is to know what’s recyclable. Here’s a short list:

? Paper/?cardboard: anything you can rip/?tear; flatten cardboard (nonsoiled portions).

? Aluminum and steel cans: empty and rinse.

? Glass bottles and jars: empty and rinse.

? Food and beverage cartons: empty, rinse, and replace cap. (Lids and caps gum up the sorting machinery.)

? Plastic bottles and containers: empty, rinse, and replace cap.

? Don’t put plastic grocery bags in your recycle bin. They tangle up machinery and cause lost time. Recycle them through your supermarket or don’t use them.

According to the county’s sanitary engineer, Jim Shaw, the community’s recycled waste business would realize net gains in the millions of dollars per year, if the public would follow the rules when recyclables are placed at the curb or in one of the county’s dropoff boxes.

Toledo city public service officials explained the problem at a recent city council hearing. The city paid about $34,000 a month for recycling processing services in 2016. Now the cost is as much as $175,000 per month.

To lower this cost and make the city’s refuse stream more valuable, the public has to be more conscientious about how it recycles.

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