Recycling for many cities is big business, when done right. It's not only environmentally friendly, it also helps to free up space in landfills.
But when recycling guidelines aren't followed, it can cost cities money. The City of Corpus Christi's Solid Waste Department is trying to re-educate residents on what is recyclable and what isn't.
"Workers are having to re-sort the items, costing the city almost $500,000 a year," said Solid Waste Department Director David Lenfeldt. "Thirty percent of all recyclable products gathered are contaminated, or items that shouldn't be placed in the recycle bin."
The city offers blue recycle bins to help Corpus Christi residents sort trash items for disposal. Many everyday items can be recycled and can all be placed into the same blue cart, with no sorting required.
The Solid Waste Department asks items be rinsed that contained food before recycling to minimize the chance for contamination. Important to note is that glass is not recyclable and should not be placed in blue carts at this time.
The Solids Waste Department offers a list of accepted recyclable materials:
- Junk mail, catalogs, and envelopes (no need to shred them)
- Shredded personal documents
- Boxes, such as cereal boxes, pasta boxes, frozen dinner boxes and drink cartons
- Shoe boxes
- Cardboard (flattened)
- Newspaper and magazines
- Phone books
- Copy and computer paper -- white and colors
- Protective paper wrapping on shoes, purses, etc.
- Water/soda bottles (with lids removed)
- Detergent, soap, and shampoo bottles (with lids removed)
- Milk jugs
- Butter, sour cream, and yogurt tubs
- Syrup, peanut butter, and squeezable jelly bottles
- Clean aluminum, tin, and steel
- Food cans for things like vegetables and soup
- Metal drink cans - sodas, energy drinks, etc.
- Other beverage cans
- Empty aerosol spray cans
WHAT NOT TO RECYCLE
Please do not put the following items in your blue recycling bin:
- Plastic bags
- Plastic film
- Glass (Residents can take their glass to the J.C. Elliott Collection Center.)
- Household Hazardous Waste**Does not belong in trash or recycling carts.
- Food waste or liquids
- Containers with food residuals (like pizza boxes)
- Wet paper products
- Yard waste (grass trimmings, branches)
- Waxed paper or waxed cardboard
- Motor oil containers or household hazardous waste items
- Garden hoses and electrical cords