Are you a Sorta?

Sep 29

Are you tangling up the recycling system?

Posted on September 29, 2022 at 3:00 PM by Kaitlynn McCumiskey

Tanglers do not belong RRNYIn the world of recycling, there is something called a tangler. A tangler is any item that can wrap around equipment at a recycling processing facility putting both the workers and machinery at risk. Tanglers include, but are not limited to, plastic bags, plastic film, clothing, ropes, strands of lights, hoses, wires, chains, blinds cords, and metal hangers.

Tanglers end up in the recycling bin usually by good intentions in an act we call wish-cycling: when someone thinks that an item has material value and can be recycled into something different through the curbside bin. However, due to the troubles that tanglers cause at the recycling facility, even if a tangler is made of recyclable material, it does not belong in the curbside recycling bin.

Though the act can be well-intentioned, wish-cycling leads to many issues along the recycling process including:Tanglers Worker RRNY

1.            Damaging equipment and recycling workers.

2.            Slowing the recycling process and decreasing efficiency.

3.            Increasing the cost of collecting and sorting the materials.

4.            Decreasing the value and marketability of recyclables.

Think back to the last time you were unraveling tangled headphones, necklaces, or wires… remember the frustration that came up. Now consider that, but in the mix are turning metal gears and machinery bigger than you.

Every day, individuals just like you, working at material recovery facilities (MRFs), can spend hours removing “tanglers” from equipment. Not only does this create an unnecessary safety hazard for workers, but it also forces the MRFs to shut down, in turn, wasting time and energy that could be used to successfully recover material for recycling.

Keep the recycling facility tangle free and find the right location to take these materials for recycling or reuse. Thanks for doing your part!

Adapted from #RecycleRightNY Resources

Sep 22

Setting Up a Recycling Station at Home

Posted on September 22, 2022 at 1:39 PM by Kaitlynn McCumiskey

Do you ever get overwhelmed by all the various waste streams that need to be managed in your home? Have you ever thrown something in the garbage just because you weren’t sure what to do with it or didn’t have a spot to store it until you could figure it out? We’ve all been there. Let’s talk about how to set yourself up for success when it comes to waste management at your home.

Things like batteries, plastic bags/film, lightbulbs, scrap metal, and food waste all have special collection programs and should be kept out of the garbage but can’t go in your household recycling bin. If you don’t have a place to put them it’s hard to stay organized. Having a central location where you have convenient storage for various waste streams can help you to be successful.

Start by assessing how many storage solutions you will need and what size they should be. For example, your storage for plastic bags/films should probably be larger than your area for batteries. Find some containers, baskets, bins, crates, or buckets that are appropriately sized for the materials you would like to organize. What can you find around the house or in your recycling bin to reuse for this purpose?

Next, figure out what location is best for you. You want it to be convenient to use. Ideally, it is located near your existing garbage/recycling area to make the transition to new habits easier. Do you want everything in one location, or do you need two separate locations? For example, you may want to organize scrap metal, batteries, and lightbulbs in a more out of the way location as these are not common everyday items. I would recommend that you locate both your food waste collection and plastic film collection in a convenient location either in the kitchen or very nearby as these materials you are likely to encounter in your day-to-day routine.

Next, organize your collection containers in a convenient and eye-catching way. You want something that is easy to access and convenient to use. Do you have existing shelving around that you can use? Do you have some milk crates that you can turn on their side and zip tie together to create cubbies? It’s always best to reuse items that you may already have around the house. Get creative! At my house, I use a small old kitchen island as a station to organize some materials for recycling and reuse. It fits conveniently next to the garbage and recycling bins. If you don’t have anything around the house that you can reuse, check second-hand before buying new.

Do you have a creative solution for keeping waste materials organized? We’d love to hear about it!

Sep 15

Organics: curbside & drop off services

Posted on September 15, 2022 at 10:22 AM by Kaitlynn McCumiskey

Curbside Service FinalDo you want to cut your household garbage by 20%? Guess what- it’s easier than ever to start diverting your food waste and other organics from the landfill. Even if you don't have the space or don't want to compost at home. We compiled a directory of all the businesses that offer either curbside or drop off services for food waste and other organics collection. Click here to check it out! Please contact the service directly for information about the area serviced and the type of service offered. Many of these services are expanding so check back frequently.

Did we miss a service? Let us know!