We’ve all been staying at home the past few weeks with excellent reason – preventing the spread of COVID-19.
During this time, you probably are generating more waste, particularly food and beverage packaging, takeout containers, and cardboard boxes. As household waste increases, it’s more important than ever to be mindful of the right things to put in your recycling bin.
When it comes to recycling, it’s super important to know precisely what and how to recycle. Once you add a contaminated item in your recycling bin, it can ruin the entire batch. This will result in sending it to the landfill instead of the recycling center. And, just like that, all your good recycling intentions go to waste. Mrs. Avier Pyles found some excellent tips on doing your recycling best during this crisis and beyond.
• Package deliveries: It’s important to know that the only thing recyclable from most packages is the cardboard box itself. Packages come with a lot of tape, bubble wrap, plastic air-bags, cellophane wrapping, and foam peanuts to keep your items safe during transport. Unfortunately, none of these materials belongs in your recycle bin. Save these items for your own packing needs or place them in your waste bin.
• Pizza boxes: While pizza boxes are made of recyclable cardboard, once the package is soiled with cheese and grease, it’s no longer recyclable. Dirty pizza boxes create a larger problem when placed in recycling bins because they can contaminate clean recyclables. Often, the bottom is soiled with grease and food while the top remains clean. Tear the clean part off the box and place it in your recycling bin because only clean cardboard can be made into new paper. As for the other soiled half, it goes in your waste bin.
• Plastic utensils: Unfortunately, not everything made of plastic is recyclable, and recycling plastic utensils is entirely dependent on your local facility, so check with your service provider. Remember, when in doubt, throw it out.
• Paper plates, napkins & paper towels: Like pizza boxes, these items are not recyclable when soiled with food and liquid. When it comes to serveware, opt for the real thing whenever possible, but when that’s not an option, go for biodegradable.
• Plastic bottles: Americans buy 50 billion plastic bottles of water a year, yet only one of every four is recycled. This is a huge miss because those bottles are in high demand to be made into a host of everyday products like athletic clothing, carpet, and more - so, recycle, recycle, recycle!
• Aluminum cans: Beer, soda, seltzers… all cans are recyclable! Aluminum is forever recyclable and provides unrivaled benefits for sustainability. It’s important to rinse and shake them dry first, so they don’t ruin cardboard and paper in the bin.
Using these tips will help ensure you’re doing your recycling best while practicing social distancing at home. It’s a small and easy way to help protect our planet and keep it beautiful for generations to come.
Recycled materials serve as feedstocks necessary to produce essential supplies, including those especially needed during this time, such as paper towels, sanitizing wipes, toilet paper, and packaging for a wide range of products, including boxes for shipping.
Many businesses that would typically generate large amounts of recyclables have limited operations now. Therefore, household recycling is vital to the continued supply of raw materials for U.S. manufacturing sectors.
What Individuals Can Do
Now is a great time to focus on waste prevention where possible. When recycling, keep the materials as clean and dry as possible. In Liberty County, you can dropping materials off at a recycling center while following Center for Disease Control, state, and local public health guidelines. Thank your recycling collectors, haulers, and sorters—they are providing a vital service during this time!
Tips and Reminders During and After COVID-19
• Keep plastic bags, masks, wipes, and latex gloves out of the recycling bin.
• If someone in your home has COVID-19, treat your recyclables as trash.
• Don’t put your recyclables in plastic bags.
• Clean and shake dry recyclables to ensure products get recycled.
• Break down cardboard boxes and put them in the recycling bin whenever possible.
• Put recycling and trash in the appropriate bins, not next to them. Leaving materials next to bins increases risks to sanitation workers and can attract pests.
• Do not put lithium, lithium-ion, or spent lead-acid batteries (e.g., car batteries) in your trash or recycling bins. These batteries can contain hazardous materials and can contaminate groundwater or cause fires at recycling facilities. Batteries from electronics and cars can be recycled at specified retail and other locations.
• If you are spring cleaning, consider setting aside things (batteries, paints, weed killer, plastic bags, clothing, other donations, etc.) to donate, recycle at one of our upcoming Recycle It! Fairs, or dispose of later when it’s safe to bring them to a drop off location or collection event.
For locals looking to recycle, Mrs. Pyles, have provided a complete list below the hours for the convenience centers are as follows:
Monday - Saturday: 6:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Sunday: 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
•344 Fort Morris Road (East End Convenience Center)
•50 Isle of Wight Road (Midway Area, U.S. 84 & Isle of Wight Road)
•619 J.V. Road (West Side of Hinesville)
•64 Left Field Road (U.S. 84 at Miller Park Recreation Area)
•836 Limerick Road (Old Landfill Entrance near Lake George)
•156 Pate Rogers Road (Fleming Area, behind “Short Cut” Convenience Store)
•25 South Dairy Road (SR 196 West, South of Gumbranch)
Please note that the following Recycling Centers are open 24 hours
•129 Sandy Run Road (Off U.S. 84, at the Enmark Station)
•941 E.G. Miles Parkway (SR 196 West, at the Training Center)
•4000 South Coastal Highway (U.S. 17 just North of Riceboro)
These Recyclable Items Are Collected
At All Our Recycling Centers:
•Plastics #1 - Plastic water and beverage bottles
•Plastics #2 - Water and milk jugs
•Mixed Plastics #3 thru #7 - All other plastic items with the recyclable symbols 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7
•Aluminum - Aluminum beverage cans
•Cardboard - Corrugated cardboard boxes
•Steel or Tin Cans - Food and soup cans
•Newspaper - Newspaper, including all the inserts inside
•Glass - Bottles - Beverage and food containers
Visit the KLB website for more information, www.keeplibertybeautiful.org. You can also contact us at Keep Liberty Beautiful by phone: (912) 880-4888 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org