Whether it is done at home, at work or in places you visit throughout your community, the effort you take to place a clean item into a recycling bin helps our environment. Waste Management of Orange County reminds its customers of the importance of recycling.
“As North America’s largest residential recycler, we want to encourage our customers to continue, and to improve upon, their good recycling habits,” said Elmer Heap of Waste Management. “It is important to keep non-recyclable material out of the recycling bin, find ways to reduce the amount of waste you generate, recycle all you can and close the recycling loop by buying recycled materials,” Heap added that many items that are thrown away easily can be recycled by simply placing the clean item in the recycle bin instead of the trash bin.
Curbside recycling programs take recyclables to a materials recovery center where local workers use advanced processing equipment to sort the items into containers of metal, plastic, wood, paper, cardboard and glass. The sorted materials are compressed into large rectangular bales and shipped to processing plants where most are made into new products. This sets the recycling process in motion all over again, while helping conserve valuable natural resources.
“It takes a lot of recyclables to make these large bales, so we encourage our customers to recycle as much as they can to make the process work efficiently,” Heap added.
While recycling as much as possible is important, it’s also critical for residents to keep items that cannot be recycled out of recycling containers. This helps ensure these items can be turned into something new, thereby renewing the lifecycle of that product. Cleaner recyclables mean less cost to process and higher value to those who purchase the recycled material and helps guarantee the items will not be rejected by the end-user.
Waste Management of Orange County accepts the following items:
• aluminum and metal food and beverage cans
• glass bottles, jars and containers (without the lids)
• newspaper, paper bags, catalogs, chipboard (cereal, cracker, shoe boxes) computer paper, construction paper, egg cartons, envelopes, junk mail, magazines, telephone books and white and colored paper
• plastic bottles, jugs and jars with the 1-7 recycling designation
• corrugated cardboard (flattened).
Non-acceptable items in this area include:
• moisture or food contaminated papers such as paper plates, pizza boxes, cups, napkins, towels or tissues
• mirrors, light bulbs, drinking glasses, window glass and ceramics
• polystyrene cups, food trays and packing materials
• hazardous waste, needles or medical waste.
For a complete list of acceptable and non-acceptable items in Orange County, visit www.wmorangecounty.com.
Recycling often and recycling right are all part of being a good environmental steward. One final step makes the entire process work: buying recycled materials. Recycling markets worldwide are consistently changing depending on the laws of supply and demand.
“Currently demand is low, but consumers have more power than they might think. The next time you shop, consider asking the store manager to stock more products that are made from recycled materials,” said Heap.
As North America’s largest recycler of post-consumer waste, Waste Management handled 14 million tons of recovered materials in 2012 and by 2020 it plans to process more than 20 million tons.
About Waste Management
Waste Management, based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Our subsidiaries provide collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. We are also a leading developer, operator and owner of waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. Our customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America. To learn more visit www.wm.com or www.thinkgreen.com.