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Recycling 101

Fri, Nov 15th, 2013
Posted in All Home & Garden

By LaVerne C. Paulson

Recycling Education Coordinator

Another America Recycles Day has come and gone. I am sure most of you made some changes in your recycling habits. I would also like to remind you that you don’t have to wait until ARD next year to make changes in becoming a more conscientious recycler. Perhaps in the following article you may find another small, but meaningful, way to make your recycling process better.

There is tons of information available on recycling. I don’t expect you to spend several hours a week learning what is recyclable and why or why not. For nearly six years, I have been sharing much of the information that comes across my desk with the residents of Fillmore County by writing the articles that appear in the Fillmore County Journal. Some of today’s information has been discussed more than once, but perhaps in a somewhat different light. Please read on...you may learn something new.

The “chasing arrows” symbol is found on almost every piece of the seven, yes seven, different forms of plastic material. The presence of the symbol does not mean the item is recyclable. If you cannot find the symbol with a number inside, consider it unrecyclable. The hard plastic that is used in most children’s toys and deck furniture is not a “1” or a “2” and is not meant to be recycled. Take all plastic bags back to a store that accepts them for recycling. The bags you bring to the recycling center in Preston and deposit in the red bin do not get recycled. Better yet, cloth or canvas bags are much stronger and seem to last forever. They also demonstrate the fact that you are concerned with the environment and our precious natural resources.

We are still getting a great number of milk jugs, soda bottles, and water bottles that still have the caps on them. The caps are not recyclable...put them in your landfill garbage, and recycle the bottle or jug. Give your milk jugs a quick rinse, and dispose of any remaining soda or water remaining in the bottles.

Someone asked me about removing that little rubber seal inside the steel cap of a pickle, olive, or spaghetti type jar. It is not necessary to remove the rubber seal because the heat that is necessary to melt steel is more than capable of destroying the seal along with the label and a few small morsels of food. Please continue to give your steel cans and glass jars a quick rinse to get rid of most of the remaining food particles.

Here is a recent change. Do not cut the bottom out of your steel cans and flatten them. I know this may sound somewhat unbelievable, but with sending everything to the Cities to be sorted by machines, there is a vicious rumor that a flattened steel can may disguise itself as a piece of cardboard and will end up in the wrong bin. So, until you hear otherwise, please don’t flatten your steel cans.

Here in Fillmore County, we have the large blue or black bin just outside the recycling center to collect larger pieces of metal. Grills, barbed wire, bicycles, lawn mowers, tillers, metal siding, nails, nuts and bolts, tire rims, and filing cabinets don’t belong in a pile in a secluded woods or sink hole to rust away. These items, and more, will be recycled if deposited in the bin. There is no fee for dropping off metal items. If your item is too heavy to lift into the bin, simply leave it next to the container and it will find its way into the bin in just a few hours.

Thanks for recycling.

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