Letter to the Editor: Recycling in Summit County can be tricky, so here are some tips

Stan Wagon

The recent article article “Ask Eartha: How to make sense of recycling in Summit County” addressed a resident’s request for more clarity on recycling rules, but the response was short on details for single-stream recycling, pointing to a web page. The info at that site is correct, but it is useful to list the rules explicitly with a little more detail. A couple years ago, after conversations with High Country Conservation Center and other officials, I think I understand the rules.

Paper and cardboard may be placed in the curbside bins. The paper should be clean; if it has food on it, do not recycle it. But it doesn’t have to be sterile. Waxed containers typically used for milk or juice cannot be binned. They, like glass, can be taken to one of drop-off spots in the county.

Tin or aluminum cans and tin foil may be placed in the bins. Tiny bits of tin foil are problematic for the optical scanner at the facility that receives the bales, but a recent trick I learned is that small bits of tin foil, such as those on chocolate bars, can be wadded into a large ball, which can then be placed in the bins.

Glass and plastic bags may not be placed in the bins. Plastic bags can be taken to grocery stores or Lowe’s. If such material goes into a bale in any quantity it can cause the company that accepts the bales from the County to reject the bale, adding cost to the process.

Plastic is tricky. Clamshells have the low numbers on the resin code but cannot be recycled anywhere in Summit County. This is annoying as the lovely recycling Moebius strip on the clamshell makes one think one is buying a green product. But it is nowhere near green.

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