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Old 07-22-2013, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Chicago area
1,105 posts, read 2,736,749 times
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Our town has a pretty good recycling program that takes most recyclable things and we do recycle pretty much everything that can be recycled. There is no sorting required though so we just put everything in a huge recycling bin, all mixed together. Somehow this stuff has to be sorted, I figure, since different things has to be handled differently so I'm wondering what happens to small pieces of paper like receipts when buried in a mountain of a bunch of other things? I would think that would be hard to sort out so I'm wondering if I should bundle it somehow or if maybe I shouldn't even put such small things in the recycling bin. I want to make sure that the stuff is actually recycled and not sorted out and thrown away which I know happens to a lot of the stuff that people put in their recycling bins.

Also, does anyone know how to handle stuff that is made from mixed material such as a notebook with a metal coil or a window envelope. Can that be put in the bin as is? Does anyone know what happens to things like soda bottles with plastic or paper labels? Is that tossed aside or can that be recycled?
I saw a news story from a recycling plant a while back and a lot of the stuff ended up in the trash and I'd like to avoid that.
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Interior AK
4,729 posts, read 8,366,366 times
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I don't know what system should be used, but when I had a "one bin" recycling pick up I still pre-sorted most things into separate cardboard boxes or paper bags within the big bin. Workers at the collection station may still have had to dump the contents out and further sort them (esp. the different plastics) and toss the boxes & bags into another pile somewhere... but I'm sure it was easier than sorting a jumble of various paper, bottles, jugs and cans.
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Under the Redwoods
3,748 posts, read 5,811,743 times
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Most places have both people picking out certain things, and then a hopper machine sorts other stuff. I would imagine that small papers stay with the paper, which is probably the last thing sorted.
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Old 07-23-2013, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,722 posts, read 47,483,706 times
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We save all of our paper and wood pulp 'waste stream'. We store it in cardboard boxes. Then during the heating season, we use that in our woodstove, to start our daily fire.
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Old 07-26-2013, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Bend Or.
1,126 posts, read 2,345,682 times
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Things such as notebooks that have multiple materials in them will be thrown away at the sorting facility. They do not have time to break them down. In fact, it is such high speed that if you leave the top on a plastic bottle, they will throw it awat as the top is not recyclable, and they don't have time to take them off.
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Old 02-18-2014, 04:34 PM
 
896 posts, read 696,539 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whirnot View Post
Things such as notebooks that have multiple materials in them will be thrown away at the sorting facility. They do not have time to break them down. In fact, it is such high speed that if you leave the top on a plastic bottle, they will throw it awat as the top is not recyclable, and they don't have time to take them off.
Seriously? They just throw the bottles away? We go through hundreds and hundreds of plastic bottles per year and I'll bet every single one of them have their lid put back on before they go in.

Can someone confirm this?

Note: in Iowa we have a .05 cent refund in place. Every couple months I haul 5 or 6 huge bags of cans and bottles to the redemption center for a $100 or more.

-------


Also, regarding paper recycling. I basically throw all paper, magazines etc into a bin. I usually will put as much as I can in a garbage bag and put that on the top of what's remaining so it doesn't blow away over night.

We don't recycle anything other than pop bottles, pop and beer cans (for the .05 cent per can) and then paper.

I usually feel like I should be recycling the soup cans and other plastics but i don't know exactly how to process it. We have a small town garbage guy and I've never seen any actual instructions on what he will and won't take. So I'm not sure what we should be doing or how we should be doing it. Any suggestions on specifics?

I can't help but feel like they end up just throwing all the paper in the dump anyway.
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Old 02-18-2014, 05:19 PM
 
4,718 posts, read 8,691,220 times
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Best way for paper is if you use/need heat figure out a way to burn it. Also, check around and see if you have a paper pellet mill place around you. They use EVERY kind of paper in their pellets and they sell the pellets to power companies that use them in their coal burning plants. With as much paper as we go through, I think I could heat a large house at the North Pole all year 'round with paper pellets. I shred all my stuff regardless of what bin it would go in too.

Unfortunately, that is true about the bottle caps at most places. Although this year I got a letter about our recycling program and they will take bottles with and without the caps on.

What I don't like about our local program is that at times they get overwhelmed and have to just throw things out rather than go through it.
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:01 PM
 
Location: The analog world
15,565 posts, read 8,734,436 times
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Call your recycling facility or check the website for clarification. Ours accepts bottles with caps on. Small pieces of paper can definitely go in the recycling, but often don't.

We're Bad At Recycling Because We Think Most Recyclables Are Trash

Quote:
After a preliminary experiment rifling through 22 assistant professors’ garbage and recycling bins, the researchers noticed something peculiar--the academics were more willing to throw small pieces of paper away, but recycled large, mostly intact 8-by-11-inch sheets. Several more experiments in which university students were asked to cut up bits of paper and perform creative writing tasks about aluminum cans repeated the effect: smaller bits of paper were less likely to be recycled
Receipts are a special case, and they're recyclability depends on the the type of paper. Thermal paper receipts are sometimes coated with BPA,which, in addition to being a health hazard, contaminates the paper stream for recycling.

Don't Keep the Receipt

Last edited by randomparent; 02-18-2014 at 10:19 PM..
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:29 AM
 
896 posts, read 696,539 times
Reputation: 1573
I've always thrown any and all paper, old receipts, magazines, cereal boxes and packaging into the recycle bin. Even the envelopes with the clear plastic window in them.

I often wondered if some of it might end up messing up the recycling. Some of the coatings in pages in magazines and packaging you sometimes wonder about
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Boston Suburb
2,025 posts, read 4,996,316 times
Reputation: 1498
So if a milk bottle has the cap on, chances are it went to the landfill?? How about the 'neck ring' or the plastic film label?

I must have recycled 500+ milk bottles and instead of feeling good, now I feel crappy since most probably did have the cap attached when I put it in the recycle bin.
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