More materials are recycled now than ever before. In recent years, new technology and innovation has made Single-Stream recycling a possibility, without making people manually hand-pick and sort out every single item. At Millennium, we pride ourselves in our innovative technology. There are still a few materials that recycling equipment cannot identify, but the basic plastics, metals and fiber (paper/cardboard) can now be automatically sorted out.
It’s hard to debate that recycling is the right thing to do when it uses less energy, preserves natural resources, reduces pollution, and creates many employment opportunities. But many people still wonder, is it worth it?
Yes! Recycled material goes into very important items that reduce our need to use virgin materials. For example, your recycling bin is probably made from recycled plastic. Cans are made from recycled aluminum (saving 90% of the energy used for creating cans from raw material)- You can see recycled material in clothing, benches, furniture, food containers, and many, many more.
Along with the great benefits of recycling, also comes challenges. While it’s definitely environmentally sound, it also needs to be economically sound. The current commodity prices are very depressed and recycling is a commodity business. Many small businesses are struggling to keep material profitable. Contamination is a huge reason for material being less valuable, and that’s where YOU come in. What is contamination you ask?
Contamination simply means putting non-recyclable items in the bin. Trash, Food, Hoses, Fences, Diapers, NEEDLES, the list goes on and on. With curbside recycling now available to over 2/3 of the country, people have become accustomed to recycling everything they possibly can- But that’s where the issue starts. You might think, hey, I don’t know if this is recyclable…if I toss it in the bin, they’ll figure it out…. We need your help to stop this thought process. Those items that get casually tossed in the bin with good intentions of “possibly” being recycled, actually make the rest of the material less valuable. The wrong kinds of plastic can devalue the right kinds (Even #1 plastics are made of different material that can’t be recycled together- Not every plastic resin type is created equal). Even with these challenges, we are still able to recycle about 97% of what comes into our facility, and innovation continues to make this number rise.
Help us by educating yourself and others on what you can and can’t put in the bin with our What Goes In The Bin page. Have a question on something? Take a look at our Where Do I Take This tool or just Ask us! We are happy to tell you yes or no and give you a reason why. The more questions we get, the more we know what people are confused about, and we can educate the rest of the community.
Thanks for recycling the RIGHT way!