There are lots of recycling terms that are not well-explained. We might know them but we are not sure what they really mean. You might know that you need to sort your recycling to ensure that it is properly processed, but if you are told that your area offers comingled recycling, do you really know what that means?
It is important to understand what comingled means so that you are not creating issues with your wastes being reused. You will want to know how to handle comingled recycling correctly so that you contribute to recycling efforts just as you did before the change to this new way of handling these materials.
What Are Comingled Items?
These items are handled through single-stream recycling. This saves time and cost for the recycling company and makes it easier for people to get their recyclables out on the curb each week. These items will be glass, paper, and plastic that are mixed into a single recycling container for each week’s pickup. Most of the companies that offer this service will just have you put the bin out each week in place of the two separate bins for glass and non-glass items.
You might also get a larger bin since you will be mixing items into this one disposal bin. This is overall easier for the company to pick up and it saves some money on providing various kinds of bins for different wastes.
How Does Comingled Recycling Work?
When you mix your recyclables in comingled recycling, they will still have to be sorted. However, this can be done at the recycling location that takes delivery of the comingled wastes. The sorting is done at a sorting station and then the materials are processed into different groups to be prepared to be used again. Glass is sorted by color, crushed, and then melted. Aluminum products are chopped up, heated so that paint and marking come off, and then melted in a vortex furnace. Plastic is also sorted by color, chopped, and then melted.
Comingled recycling has been found to be just as efficient as the older sorting and separating methods and you should feel good about contributing to the health of the planet by making sure that all of your glass, plastic, and aluminum ends up in your comingled bin each week. There are always issues with glass getting picked up when there is no comingled option to be had and you will find that you probably think about getting your recyclables out to the bin more often when you know that they don’t need to be sorted first.
Don’t Listen to Naysayers
There will always be people in your neighborhood who want to say that trash and recycling are all the same and who cares if you recycle. Don’t listen to these people. They are not correct at all. Recycling is an essential part of returning products to use and you should not skip sorting your recycling just because someone else believes incorrect information about recycling processes.
The average household throws out 13,000 pieces of paper a year and Americans use 2.5 million plastic bottles an hour that does not get recycled! All of that waste could be recycled, and throwing all of it away generates many tons of garbage in landfills. This is why recycling is so key to saving the planet and why we should all do our part to help make sure that products that can be used again are being correctly recycled. You will want to ignore those who claim that recycling is a scam because this is most certainly not true.
Have You Heard of Scrappers?
This is a relatively new phenomenon that has started to occur as the cost of living has gone up and homelessness and poverty have increased worldwide. Some people are worried about these people coming into their neighborhoods, but we actually would suggest that you let them go about their business.
Scrappers are people who search through trash looking for discarded appliances and large items that have been thrown out. They want to sell these items for cash and they will take them out of the garbage and use them to generate funds. While it might seem like an issue for these people to be doing this, their efforts actually save recycling companies a lot of time. These products almost always have to be sent to landfills and when they are mixed into comingle recycling they can contaminate the sorting process and cause lost time and material that could have been recycled going to the dump instead.
These people are actually helping the environment and they are engaged in their own form of recycling if you think about it. Let the scrappers who come through your neighborhood do their work and don’t be concerned that they are in any way harming the recycling process.
Recycling is the Key to a Healthy Planet
If you want to make real and lasting changes to the health of the planet, you need to consider recycling as one of the most important jobs that you can do. You will be helping to convert tons of products into recyclables each year and preventing the overuse of landfills. You will also be contributing to a cleaner and more environmentally-friendly recycling process when you use comingled recycling bins when they are offered. Make sure that you never shirk your duties with regard to recycling and you can help to make a better future for everyone.
While recycling cannot resolve all of the issues that we are facing with regard to climate change and social problems, being able to reduce your own footprint with regard to waste is key to making your community healthier and happier. Comingled recycling makes it easier than ever to help do your part and you should not hesitate to use your comingled recycling bin for glass, paper, and plastic wastes that you want to dispose of. We take personal pride in helping the environment every year by providing convenient and well-thought-out recycling solutions for our customers.