Items that don’t belong in the recycling stream are contaminants, and they can slow down recycling operations, degrade the quality of recycled material, and ultimately lower the value of recyclable commodities.
Recyclables with contamination can be outright rejected by markets, causing
otherwise perfectly good materials to go to a landfill at great expense. Common sources of contamination include plastic bags, Styrofoam, padded envelopes,
coffee cups, and cigarette butts.
Beginning in December, recycling bins with
contamination will receive orange “Warning” stickers, giving residents an
opportunity to take note of recycling mistakes they made. By April, residents who put unacceptable items in their recycling container will receive a red “Rejected” sticker and the contents of their bin will not be collected.
Information about what items are accepted for recycling can be found at
, and in the 2019-2020 Curbside Recycling Guidelines.