I am quite sure that a majority of the residents of Fillmore County who recycle do so quite well. Some, at times, too well. How can that be, you ask? A lot of questions on what is and isn’t recyclable seem to keep being asked frequently, and that is certainly not a bad thing. Please try to remember that not all paper, not all glass, and not all plastic can be recycled in Fillmore County.
Cardboard is indeed recyclable and we get lots of it. However, it must be clean and dry and free of food and oils. Bottoms of ready-to-eat pizza boxes can be coated with pizza parts, oils, and sauce and should go into the landfill. The tops, however, are usually clean and can be recycled. Cardboard boxes deposited in any of our rural recycling containers should be flattened before you throw them in. Empty boxes can take up a lot of room that can be better used for other recyclable materials.
All of your newspapers, regular box board like cereal boxes, junk mail, hardcover and paperback books, magazines, catalogs, and phone books are accepted. But, boxes that once contained pop cans to be kept in the refrigerator have a very thin coating of wax to keep them from falling apart in a cold, humid environment, and should be landfilled. The same goes for any box board container that is kept in the refrigerator or freezer, such as pot pies, butter, margarine, regular pies, TV dinners, ice cream, fish sticks, frozen fruits and vegetables, dairy and juice containers, and boxed meat. Cereal boxes, mac and cheese boxes, cracker boxes, tissue boxes, and the like are all recyclable. Also, the tubes from paper towels and toilet tissue should be recycled.
No plastic bags are to be placed in rural containers, with curbside recyclables, or the Recycling Center bins. You can transport your bottles and cans in plastic bags, but the bags must be emptied and taken home, placed in the special container at the Recycling Center, or taken back to a store that will accept them for recycling. Clean sandwich bags, potato bags, and storage bags have been added to the returnable plastic bag list. I must remind you again that only plastic containers that have a “1” or a “2” inside the chasing arrows on the bottom of the container are recyclable in Fillmore County. Of course, all plastic beverage bottles are meant to be recycled. However, we do not want plastic toys, deck and lawn furniture, water bed liners, silage and bale wrap, bale twine, car bumpers, plastic hose, and, of course, soiled diapers.
Some forms of glass are not recyclable. Do not recycle window glass, tableware, canning jars, ovenware, mirrors, ceramics, pottery, or iridescent light bulbs. CFL light bulbs contain mercury and must be brought to the Resource Recovery Center. Pickle jars, spaghetti jars, beverage bottles, sauerkraut jars, hot sauce bottles, store bought jelly and jam jars, and their metal covers are all recyclable.
All aluminum cans, as well as soup-type cans made of steel and tin, are highly recyclable.
I hope this answers some of your questions. Please feel free to contact me with any other questions you may have regarding recycling in Fillmore County.