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The Dirty Truth About Recycling: The Hidden Costs of Contamination

Updated: Apr 12, 2023







Contaminated recycling is a problem that refers to the presence of non-recyclable waste mixed in with recyclable materials. But why is it such an issue? One of the main problems with contaminated recycling is that it can cause entire loads of recyclable materials to be rejected and sent to landfill. Even if the materials are accepted at the recycling facility, the decrease in quality of the recycling could make it unusable.


This, in turn, increases the cost to recycle, as waste management companies must spend more time and resources to sort the waste from the recycling. And why does this matter to the average person? It's in our best interest as a planet to keep the cost of recycling as low as possible and promote a circular economy. We need to keep as much as we can out of landfill.


So, what can we do to prevent contaminated recycling? For starters, we can pay close attention to packaging to understand what can and cannot be recycled. We can sort our recycling as best as we can, to ensure that only recyclable materials are put in the recycling bin.


Another way to prevent contaminated recycling is by keeping our bins locked. When we lock our bins, we take complete responsibility for the contents and prevent others from putting non-recyclable waste in them. By doing our part, we can ensure that more of our waste is recycled and less ends up in landfills, promoting a healthier and more sustainable future for our planet.

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