1. Why can't I put shredded paper in my recycle can?
Shredded paper is very difficult to bale due to its size. Home and office shredders slice small pieces to protect personal information. Our workers sort recyclables through a series of belts and bins. During the process, shreds of paper just become 'pulp' and litter. If the sorters don't 'catch' the shredded paper, it can mix and contaminate with another commodity that is to be sold.
2. What are the benefits of recycling?
Recycling reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators. Recycling conserves natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals. Lastly, recycling prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials.
3. How does recycling work?
There are three parts to the recycling process: collection, manufacturing and consumption. These three components are represented by the three 'chasing arrows' of the recycling logo.
Collection: Different cities and municipalities have different systems for sorting and collecting materials that can be recycled. Recyclables are collected many different ways such as curbside pick - up, public drop off centers, and baled commodity hauling. Once collected, the items are sorted and placed into various categories.
Processing: Materials are brought to a MRF (Materials Recovery Facility), processed and turned into raw materials.
Consumption: "Close the Loop" by buying products with recycled content. In order to make recycling economically viable, there must be a market for recycled products. If people buy them, companies will be encouraged to make them, and the whole system works.
4. What do the three chasing arrows mean?
Do you know why the recycling symbol has three chasing arrows? Each arrow represents one step in the three step process that completes the recycling loop.
1. The first step is collection. This is when you put your recyclables into your curbside recycling bin or take them to a local drop - off center. The collected materials are then prepared to be marketed and are sold to a manufacturing facility.
2. The manufacturing process is the second arrow in the recycling symbol. The recyclable materials are converted into new products and shipped to stores across the country to be placed on shelves as new consumer goods.
3. The third step is where you, the consumer, purchase products made with recycled content. When you buy, "Buy Recycled", you complete the recycling loop.
5. Can I recycle household batteries?
Household batteries cannot be disposed of in the garbage/recycle cans. They contain highly toxic chemicals - but they shouldn't be tossed in the trash, either, for the very same reason. Many batteries contain heavy metals like lead and mercury that can easily contaminate our drinking water if left to deteriorate in a landfill. Some hardware stores will accept batteries but they must be prepared a certain way. For information on drop off locations and the preparation process please consult the 2015 Sonoma County Recycling Guide or logon to: www.recyclenow.org
6. Why do I have such a large recycle can?
Recyclable materials such as cardboard, newspaper, and plastic soda bottles are light, bulky products unlike garbage which is denser. Because of these bulky items a larger can is needed to 'house' a week's worth of recyclables. We encourage our customers to breakdown all boxes in order for the lid to close and for our driver to dispose of safely. If you wish to down - size your recycle can please contact a customer service rep.
7. If a product has the three arrows symbol on it, doesn't that mean it's recyclable?
No. The three arrows symbol is not an indication that an item can be recycled. The recycling symbol is unregulated, meaning that no authority controls who places the symbol on what product, be it recyclable or not. This is also known as 'greenwashing' where an organization presents disinformation so as to present an environmentally responsible public image. The plastic industry uses the recycling symbol as an "in house" coding system to identify resin types. Unfortunately, this leads to confusion and therefore you cannot use the symbol to determine whether or not a material is recyclable. Technically, almost everything manufactured could be recyclable if there was a reliable end - buyer for the material. The existence of a recycling market is typically dependent upon a manufacturer buying the product back for remanufacture. When an industry distributes a product and then uses virgin materials to manufacture neproducts, it creates a glut of material without a recycling market. Therefore, for a material to be recyclable, there has to be a demand for it on the market, and that's what determines what can and cannot be recycled. When you see a recycling symbol on a product to indicate that it is MADE from recycled content, you can trust that it was (though again, that doesn't necessarily mean that it is RECYCLABLE). We strongly encourage you to buy products with recycled content to further stimulate the market for recycled materials.
8. What time can I expect my garbage to be serviced?
While we strive to service all of our customers around the same time each week sometimes issues arise. Curbside collection services typically occur between 5am and 6pm. Things such as weather, traffic accidents, and mechanical failures can all be deterrents that can hinder the time your garbage gets serviced.
9. Where can I find the definition of terms on consumer labels, like "recyclable" or "natural"?
Demand for environmentally friendly products is on the rise but consumer labels can be confusing. Products claim to be natural, nontoxic, environmentally preferred, and hypoallergenic, but what do these terms mean? Visit www.eco-labels.org for information on eco-labels. Their aim is to help consumers make more informed decisions when purchasing products.
10. How do I dispose of pizza boxes, mayonnaise jars, peanut butter jars or other confusing items?
To watch a short video on how to dispose of these items as well as other national recycling news please click on the, 'NEWS' link and scroll down. Please check back regularly for new and updated recycling videos. Enjoy!