Contact Us
Share

The Dirty Little Secret to Better Recycling

And really, knowing that one little fact will help you and millions of Americans recycle better with a much more positive impact on your local community.

 

According to the University of California, 95% of Americans say they would increase their recycling frequency if they knew how to properly recycle. If you want to do your part to improve recycling rates, get to know the location of your neighborhood recycling center and their guidelines for better recycling.

 

Yes, you have a neighborhood recycler. In Denver, there are more than fifteen of these, each assigned to a different region of the city. What each facility will accept varies tremendously from one area to the next. Each load of recycling that is collected has to meet very high standards to determine if it can actually be recycled. Sadly, most loads don't make the cut and will end up in the landfill.

Image

Don't Recycle Your Used Pizza Boxes!

 

The biggest problem for nearly all recycling centers is contamination, usually food and liquid. A single stained pizza box can often ruin a whole load of otherwise good recyclables. It has been estimated that contamination costs Denver recycling facilities thousands of dollars every year.

 

If you leave a half-consumed can of Coke in with that nasty food-sludged pizza box, and the can is smashed during recycling, the liquid soaks all of the paper and cardboard in that load – rendering ALL of it useless and destined for a landfill. Most recyclables are made of very absorbent material, so the slightest bit of old soda, food, beer or wet trash will end up as "residue" in the recycling facility, before it goes into the landfill. A quick check of your local recycling center website will give you an easy-to-follow list of best practices. Most recycling centers will not accept metal, wood, or rubber, so keep your home remodeling waste out of the bin.

 

Single-stream recycling programs will accept mixed materials that are sorted by employees, but most recycling centers do not do this. A materials recovery facility always does single-stream recycling, using machines and employees to sort through trash. The trucks deliver the trash to a large steel bin where a drum feeder divides the materials up on to conveyer belts. Any metal will be removed by magnets. Workers remove any trash that remains after the drum feeder and the load is baled. Glass is the only material that isn't baled.

 

In 2017, Waste Management recycled 174,420 tons of bottles, cans, paper and cardboard saving 1.3 million trees, 759 million gallons of water, and 373 million kWh of electricity. The Denver Arapahoe Disposal site is turning landfill gas into electricity that powers 2,500 homes annually. These are excellent results that can get better as long as we look out for contaminated trash and get to know our local recycling center.

 

In order to know what's acceptable for your local recycling center, go to earth911.org and enter your zip code or call your local facility and ask.

Back to Blog
Media Support Licenses

Related Posts

Affordable Ways to Give Your Home a Refreshing Makeover Affordable Ways to Give Your Home a Refreshing Makeover

A home makeover can bring new life to your living space and make it feel like a brand-new home. Whether you’re looking to tackle a small project or a complete overhaul, there are many ways to revive your home and create a fresh, inviting space. Gone For Good shares some tips to help you get started.

Read More
August 2023 Newsletter August 2023 Newsletter

Denver Thrift Store Under New Ownership- and Moving to a new location. But before we move- we're giving everything in our inventory away for free! Aug 30 & 31. New location opens Sept 1, 2023

Read More
June Updates From Gone For Good June Updates From Gone For Good

What nation produces the most trash? A great new outlet for anger and a Home Inspector you've got to meet.

Read More
Welcome to Denver, Welcome Home Welcome to Denver, Welcome Home

If you’re getting ready to make your move to the Mile High city, you’ll be in great company.

Read More