Workers inspecting the recycling carts will return to Akron starting next week.
This is part of an ongoing effort by the City of Akron and its partners to help educate residents on how to properly recycle.
As a reminder, the rules for what is recyclable became more limited a few years ago when China, the world’s largest buyer of recycled materials, tightened what it would accept. Too many packages of recycled materials have been contaminated with other materials, rendering them worthless.
Current recyclable materials are plastic bottles and jugs (discard caps), aluminum and metal cans, paper, cardboard and cardboard. You can read much of the coverage I did by going to www.tinyurl.com/abjrecycle and there is a helpful graphic with that column.
Labels do not need to be removed before recycling, but make sure any plastic containing food is washed or rinsed.
Some changes are related to the fact that the technology of the facilities does not allow sorting of the different items, such as bottle caps and bags (which fall on the conveyor belt or clogging machines) or disposable aluminum pans (which , although aluminum is recyclable, the machine reads the flat bottom of the pan and thinks its box, sending it to the wrong bin). Likewise, aluminum foil is too small for machines and not recyclable.
After:November 2, 2018 Betty Recycling Cover: Start Here
After:Chronicle of 9 November 2018 Other questions and follow-up
After:Column of December 14, 2018: No more questions about recycling, some for the holidays
After:February 22, 2019: Recycling aid via Target
After:May 24, 2019: Akron to launch aggressive recycling education program
After:August 16, 2019: Akron’s recycling program sees behavioral changes
After:July 31, 2020: Betty Lin-Fisher: Recycling and Reuse During COVID-19
After:Trash talking: Cuyahoga Falls conducts citywide audit of recycling bins for banned items
So what is Akron doing?
Through grants, city partner Keep Akron Beautiful is leading recycling monitoring and education efforts. The program began with cart inspections in 2019 across the city, with the exception of West Akron. Last summer crews made West Akron and this summer all recycling carts in town will be inspected four weeks in a row starting June 7.
Akron is the only city in the state to have received additional funding to monitor the entire city, said Jacqui Ricchiuti, CEO of Keep Akron Beautiful.
“We are trying to make recyclable materials cleaner so that we can continue to [offer recycling]Said Ricchiuti.
Providing the cleanest stream of recycled materials to facilities that sort and ultimately sell the materials is the best way to ensure that those materials are reused instead of going to landfill, she said.
Twenty local workers were hired to inspect the recycling carts, most of them returning workers.
The monitoring and education effort will work as in the past.
Inspectors will work in teams of two and peek inside recycling carts on the same routes throughout town. They won’t dig into the recycling, but will do a visual audit. If they see something that should not be recycled, they will leave a “Whoops” tag to let the resident know what needs to be removed prior to the following week’s pickup.
New this year is also the possibility for inspectors to use an application to record the items that generated the Oops tag. Residents will then be able to receive targeted educational mailings, Ricchuiti said.
Here is a list of the most important things that shouldn’t be in recycling carts, but often are: plastic bags (recyclables shouldn’t be bagged and should be loose in the cart), yard waste, garden pots or containers, pizza boxes, food waste containers, large bulky plastic items (such as toys) and plastic wrap.
Most of these things should go in the trash, with the exception of plastic wrap. I will come back to that in a moment.
“We want people [recycle], but we want people to do it the right way, ”she said. “If they don’t do it the right way, we’d rather they throw it in the trash.”
The city will eliminate recycling carts for repeat offenders. The city previously offered a $ 2.50 credit to residents for recycling, but that credit was cut last year during budget cuts. About 150 households pulled out after the credit disappeared, said Chris Ludle, director of the civil service.
But the city “found that the credit cut actually had a significant positive impact on the quality of our recyclables,” he said. In May 2019, before the first monitoring program, the recycling contamination rate was 39.3% In the last audit, it was 21.6%. “This means that in two years we have almost halved our contamination rate,” said Ludle, adding that the goal was to bring it down to 15%.
For questions about the program, contact 311 (330-375-2311) or www.akronohio.gov.
And the other cities?
The simpler recycling rules are the same for all communities in Summit County, statewide and region, said Marcie Kress, executive director of ReWorks, the Summit County agency responsible for ‘educate the public on residential recycling and reduce landfill waste.
There may be private carriers or community programs in the area that have other recyclables listed on their “acceptable” list, but Kress said the best advice is to stick to the shortened list to keep the list. recycling stream as clean as possible.
Glass is also still a hot issue and in the Akron area; Cuyahoga Falls is the only community that still accepts glass in its sidewalk program and pays its recycler to accept glass.
What should I do with things that are not on the list?
If you have any doubts, throw it out. While many people still believe that the recycling symbol or the number at the bottom of the plastic means it’s recyclable, Kress said it’s meant to indicate what type of plastic has been used and does not indicate that it is. recyclable.
In your recycling basket you should only put plastic bottles and jugs (without cap). It means anything that has a neck smaller than its body.
A reader in 2019 asked me about recycling containers at Target stores. I confirmed in 2019 and just reconfirmed this week with a representative from Target that you can take many plastics that are not accepted in curbside programs and recycle them at the store.
I’ve been doing this regularly since 2019, although I took a break during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when we were stuck at home. I have a separate container at home for our other plastics, like takeout, yogurt, and sour cream. The Target program also supports glass, cell phones and ink cartridges.
In addition, Target has a container for plastic bags or expandable materials. They have a slightly different schedule than boxes outside grocery stores, but they accept the same thing: stretch plastic bags and packaging.
Packaging Recycling Action Program (WRAP) bins in grocery stores will take more than plastic bags, including bread bags; dry cleaning bags; zipped bags for storing food; plastic overwrap on paper towels, napkins, cases of water bottles or other toiletries; plastic newspaper delivery bags; bubble wrap, shipping pillows and plastic envelopes (full plastic envelopes can go in store bins; paper envelopes with a plastic window can be placed in recycling bins at home and padded envelopes should be reused and then thrown in the trash).
Last year, I also confirmed that Amazon’s stretch plastic envelopes can be placed in grocery store bins for plastic bags. Remove the direct mail label as much as possible. For more information, visit www.plasticfilmrecycling.org.
What if I have more recycling questions?
ReWorks has a useful website, www.summitreworks.com, with a section for where to recycle other things. You can also contact ReWorks at 330-374-0383 or [email protected] It will also open the household hazardous waste facility in Stow on June 3.
What else can I do?
Consumers can have more of a say in changing the rules by buying items that are recyclable or buying items in containers that are not, and reaching out to manufacturers, Kress said.
“We encourage waste reduction first, recycling second,” she said.
I know some people are put off by the new recycling rules and say they could stop recycling. Kress encourages people to stick to it.
“It reduces waste in landfills, helps conserve natural resources and helps support the recycling industry, which supports jobs.”
Here is the schedule for proper recycling when inspectors examine the carts
JUNE 7-JULY 2
Monday: Glenwood neighborhood, Chapel Hill
Tuesday: West Akron – North of Copley / High Hampton Bath Crest Estates, Willow Run
Wednesday: Arlington South Corridor / Districts West of Arlington
Thursday: Summit Lake, Fairlawn Heights
Friday: Kenmore, West Akron – North of Copley
JULY 5 to 30
Monday: North Akron – North of Tallmadge / All streets on Cuyahoga Falls Avenue
Tuesday: Goodyear Heights, Ellet
Wednesday: Goodyear Heights / Mason Park, Arlington Corridor / Neighborhoods East of Arlington
Thursday: Firestone Park, Manchester Road area near Reimer CLC
Friday: West Akron – South of Copley, Kenmore
Monday: Near City Hospital / Goodyear Heights near Tallmadge border
Tuesday: Goodyear Metro Park area / Betty Jane CLC
Wednesday: Akron University / South Akron
Thursday: Carnegie / Hancock subdivision
Friday: West Akron – South of Copley / Alaska Streets, from Copley Rd-Hartford to Corp Limit
Beacon Journal reporter Betty Lin-Fisher can be reached at 330-996-3724 or [email protected] Follow her @blinfisherABJ on Twitter or www.facebook.com/BettyLinFisherABJ. To see her most recent stories and columns, visit www.tinyurl.com/bettylinfisher.