Thursday, December 15, 2011
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Recycling guidelines

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[December 15, 2011]  In advance of winter weather, the Logan County Joint Solid Waste Agency provides this review of the basic principles of recycling etiquette. The agency continues to see an increase in the amount of materials being taken to recycling sites throughout Logan County, leaving bins full to overflowing at times. This, in turn, has left the agency to deal with issues of safety, littering of its recycling sites and the surrounding areas, and increasing amounts of contamination. The following guidelines address these issues, as well as recycling standards.

The illegal dumping of non-recyclable materials into collection bins is prohibited under most local ordinances. Household trash, carpeting, vinyl siding, windows and doors, TVs, car bumpers, construction debris, a mattress and box springs, and even a storage shed have been pulled from recycling bins. Recycling bins are not there for the disposal of these materials. Contact your local waste hauler to dispose of these items.

Recyclable materials differ from regular household trash in that these materials are collected, sorted and processed into new items that will once again find their way to your home. Items to be recycled, therefore, need to be handled differently than household trash. During various stages of the recycling process, including collection and sorting phases, individuals -- not machinery -- handle the materials.

Recyclable materials should be rinsed and free of any food material. If the pizza box has cheese stuck to it, toss it in the garbage. Used paper plates and napkins should be placed in the garbage, not in a recycling bin, as should used paper towels and tissues. Ashtrays should not be emptied into recyclable materials. Individuals should be aware that just because an item is either plastic or metal, that does not make it recyclable. Containers acceptable for recycling will display a recycling symbol on the bottom or on the label. The recycling symbol is a triangle composed of three chasing arrows. Remember, when in doubt, leave it out.

All Logan County Joint Solid Waste Agency collection sites offer residents the opportunity to recycle paper, plastic and metal materials. Recyclers are reminded that bins are designated for the collection of a specific material, either for paper or for plastics and metals. Do not place metals or plastics in the paper bin or paper materials in the bin for plastic and metals. The program does not accept glass at any of its collection sites.

Paper items accepted include newspaper, junk mail, magazines, single-ply chipboard (cereal and other food container boxes, Kleenex and shoeboxes, etc.), catalogs and other softbound books. The recycling program does not accept cardboard, carbon paper, hardbound books or wrapping paper. Preparation for recycling paper items is minimal. Food container boxes should be broken down and flattened. Newspaper, magazines, junk mail and flattened boxes can be placed in paper sacks or emptied loose into the bin. Do not tie or bind newspapers or magazines with string or wire.

Plastics accepted for recycling include food and drink containers (milk, water, soda bottles); bleach, detergent and softener bottles; and other health and beauty product containers. Preparation for recycling plastics is minimal -- rinse and flatten. Caps may be left on containers. Metal items accepted for recycling include food containers, coffee cans and drink (soda, beer) cans. Again, rinse containers and flatten metal cans.

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The program does not accept motor oil, insecticide, herbicide or other hazardous chemical containers, or any type of Styrofoam, including meat trays, egg cartons and packing materials.

The recycling program does not accept plastic bags from stores, dry cleaning bags or trash bags. If you transport your recyclables to the collection bins in any type of plastic or trash bag, empty the contents loose into the bin and take the plastic bag home for disposal with other household trash. Plastic bags used to hold items such as water softener salt, mulch, seed and fertilizer are not accepted at any recycling site. Plastic film, plastic sheets, tarps and wraps are also unacceptable materials.

Plastic bags from any store can be recycled at the Lincoln Wal-Mart or Kroger stores. Recyclers are asked to remove all receipts from the bags and to turn the bags inside out. Collection bins for recycled plastic bags are located inside the entrance of both stores.

Recyclers are asked not overload the collection bins. Make sure that bin lids or sliding doors can be closed. Collection bins for paper and for plastics and metal are emptied weekly at all sites. If collection bins are full or being emptied, do not leave recyclables on the ground or platform where they can be strewn by the weather or animals. These measures will assist the agency is maintaining the area surrounding the collection bins for the health and safety of those using the bins as well as agency employees.

The Logan County Joint Solid Waste Agency appreciates the efforts of recyclers and strives to provide a quality recycling program for county residents. For more information on the county's recycling program, preparation of recyclable materials or how to dispose of other household items such as appliances, car batteries, tires or paint, visit or contact Mitzi Rohlfs, coordinator, at 217-732-9636.

[Text from file received from the Logan County Joint Solid Waste Agency]

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