It’s no secret that recycling right can help you make a positive impact on your community. This effort reduces landfill emissions, protects local jobs and ensures the environment is healthy and clean for future generations.
The City of Gahanna has partnered with SWACO for Recycle Right, Make a Difference, a community-wide residential recycling education program throughout Franklin County that helps residents learn the best recycling practices so they can make a positive impact. While central Ohio’s rate of recycling exceeds the national average, residents still send over a million tons of material to the Franklin County Sanitary Landfill each year and over half of that material could be diverted – meaning it could have been reused, recycled or even composted instead of being sent to the landfill.
To help the Franklin County community Recycle Right and make a difference, SWACO has compiled five tips for residents to keep in mind:
- Never bag recyclables. Keep them loose in carts. One in four homes in Franklin County still puts their recyclables in bags which can become tangled in equipment at the sorting and processing facility. When this happens, bagged materials may end up in the landfill.
- Plastic bags are 100% recyclable, but must be recycled correctly through a Plastic Film Recycling program. Do not put plastic bags in curbside recycling carts or drop off containers.
- Avoid placing “tanglers” in recycling carts. Hoses, wires. hangers and cords are all considered tanglers, which can jam recycling sorting equipment and may lead to costly repairs and downtime at the facility. This could translate to a future increase in recycling costs, which we all strive to avoid.
- All plastic bottles and tubs including fruit cups and yogurt containers can be recycled. Leaving lids and labels on these items is okay, but containers do need to be emptied (and given a quick rinse if necessary) before placed in your recycling.
- Flatten cardboard. Many types of cardboard items are recyclable, including corrugated cardboard, mail-order boxes, cereal boxes, paper towel rolls, and other items. For curbside pickup, cardboard boxes should be emptied, flattened and placed in the cart, and it is okay to leave labels and tape on.
Every time you recycle correctly, you’re making an impact. You’re helping hundreds of businesses who depend on recycling, supporting thousands of jobs that those businesses create, keeping these valuable materials circulating throughout our economy and helping to keep central Ohio green by reducing our energy use, creating cleaner air and reducing our reliance on the landfill. Proper recycling takes only a few minutes, but the impact lasts for years.
If you come across questions about what is or is not recyclable, SWACO offers a convenient, user-friendly search tool that clearly outlines recycling practices for Franklin County. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Send them a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information on resident recycling pickup programs or to find a recycling drop off program near you, visit www.RecycleRight.org.