Recycling, is it done properly in San Diego?

Everybody that ever recycled probably did so with good intentions. But good intentions alone won’t save our environment. Here in San Diego, we’re dedicated to teaching you how to do it the right way!

The right steps towards preserving our environment

The first step in recycling properly is not putting your recyclable trash into plastic bags. This step towards cleanliness isn’t necessary because we can’t recycle them, but because their misplacement slows the process of recycling significantly. They cause problems in every step of the recycling process. The first of which is jamming our recycling equipment by entanglement. The next issue is paper bales getting contaminated because of plastic. They cause all sorts of problems and inevitably end up in rivers, seas and oceans. The best way to recycle plastic bags is by means of a dedicated recycling program for them.

What many people don’t realize is that plastic bottle caps causing problems in recycling is a thing of the past. This used to be a problem because plastic used for bottles and plastic used for caps are different. The melting point of the plastic caps made it hard to recycle. Thankfully, that’s behind us now that technology has caught on. When recycling plastic bottles it’s advised to leave the caps on because it may be difficult for sorters to locate them and they might slip from the sorting line.

Another common mistake people make is trying to recycle pizza boxes. Even though some have recycling symbols on them, most of them can’t be recycled due to food grease. The bits of food and grease that accumulate make the paper unrecyclable. This goes to same for other, similar, food containers along with paper napkins and plates. But not being able to recycle them doesn’t mean they’re not compostable. This type of material should go in the compost bin.

Try not to shred paper before putting it into the recycling bin. This is because shredding paper reduces the value and quality by reducing its grade.  This is important because paper is separated based on grades. High grade recycled paper is what we strive for, and by shredding it it’s turned into mixed grade paper.