Sustainability Commission Looks At Recycling
At their November meeting, the Carbondale Sustainability Commission hosted a presentation by Keep Carbondale Beautiful on “The Future of Recycling in Carbondale.” Some information is not well understood: plastic bags should never go into a recycling bin (material should be loose), but they can be recycled at grocery stores, along with other kinds of clean, dry plastic film: bags from newspaper, produce, or bread, and plastic wrap around cases and paper products. Also, the air pillows that come with packages can be deflated and recycled with other film. Meanwhile, the bubble wrap and foam peanuts can be brought to stores like Mailboxes, etc. for re-use. They will also re-use foam sheets (but not blocks of foam).
Recycling is something that people want to do more of, but there are limitations, esp. on plastics. Currently, only # 1 and # 2 plastic bottles are accepted for recycling in Carbondale. Any other plastic item, even if it has a # 1 or # 2, will be sorted out and taken to the landfill. “Cut out the middle man. Put it in the trash,” said Sarah Heyer, Executive Director at KCB. “Or save it for future recycling, or re-use it.”
Plastics are problematic, but there is room for increasing recycling in Carbondale. Currently only 30% of eligible homes take advantage of curb-side recycling. Metals have always been desired by recyclers. That market continues to hold its own. Aluminum and steel cans join plastic bottles in the blue bin, along with unbroken glass bottles and jars.
All kinds of paper can be placed in the green bin for recycling. Be careful to leave out items like dirty pizza boxes, or milk or juice cartons that have a waxy coating. For now, they belong in the trash. That still leaves up to a quarter of the waste stream that is easily recycled. Perhaps that dirty pizza box will go into a compost pile in the future. Food waste will be a focus of attention for working groups in the Carbondale area. For more information or to join a group working on food waste, contact Keep Carbondale Beautiful at firstname.lastname@example.org or (618) 525-5525.