Holiday recycling requires extra attention this year

MEDFORD, Ore. – After Christmas Day, recycling bins will be filled to the brim with wrapping paper and cardboard Amazon prime boxes. But due to the current “recycling crisis,” you may want to give extra scrutiny to materials you decide to recycle.

China handles most of America’s recycling demands. However, they’ve announced the country’s refusal to take in contaminated loads of recyclable material. Local sanitation services say they need your help bringing down the amount of non-recyclable items in your bins.

If sanitation companies receive a load that’s too contaminated, they are forced to send the whole load to the landfill.

The good news is most local sanitation services will continue to accept basic wrapping paper and cardboard items. However, they still need to avoid contamination. This means bows, ribbons, styrofoam, tissue paper, packaging air bags, bubble wrap, and other materials that could contaminate a load will have to be separated out and thrown into the trash.

Take the extra time to make sure all plastic items are removed from Amazon–or any other–boxes.

Most of the time, the only plastics that sanitation companies accept are clean plastic containers used for household purposes, such as milk jugs and butter tubs. That means that thin clear plastic covering little Billy’s new Star Wars toy is a no-go.

So when you and your family settle down this holiday season, set aside a separate bag for JUST wrapping paper. Separate all bows, tags, and other trash and throw it where it belongs: in the garbage. Rogue Disposal and Recycling says it best: “When in doubt, throw it out.”

Just a reminder, glass recycling is getting more expensive. Many sanitation companies no longer accept it. However, you can still bring it to recycling depots.

Plastic grocery bags and plastic wrappers aren’t accepted because they can get tangled in equipment, but they can be dropped off at participating retailers. A list is available here:

As always, check with your local sanitation provider for details on what is, and isn’t, recyclable.

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