What Goes In The Bin?
Recycle Everywhere is all about recycling empty beverage containers. Along with our commitment to recovering as many empty beverage containers in Manitoba as possible, educating Manitobans on how to recycle effectively when using our bins is also part of the effort. After all, more empty beverage containers collected means fewer in landfills.
Placing non-recyclable items in our Recycle Everywhere bins, the entire content of the bin is at risk of contamination, making the contents no longer viable to be recycled.
Recyclables that have been contaminated are diverted to the landfill as they can no longer be properly processed.
Effective in 2017, China announced a ban on certain specifications of recyclables and set an allowable contaminate rate of 0.5%. This has affected the global market and increased the need for people to recycle effectively in their own jurisdictions.
While not all our materials are sent to China, the more diligent Manitobans can be with their recycling habits the better the probability that those items will be used as material in the commodity markets to be made into new items.
Ultimately, the more effective we can be with our recycling habits, the less material ends up in the landfill.
Leftover liquids, food and food soiled materials, disposable coffee cups, similar types of open cups and lids are the major contaminants of our Recycle Everywhere bins.
Leftover liquid in beverage containers can spill and cause contamination of paper products in our bins, before it makes it to the Material Recovery Facility (MRF), sending the contents to the landfill instead. Emptying your beverage containers can go a long way to help keep recyclables out of the landfill!
Food and food soiled material, such as sandwich wrappers and greasy pizza boxes meant for the trash also contaminates the contents of our bins.
CBCRA is responsible for the recovery of sealed beverage containers as mandated by the Government of Manitoba. Therefore, our Recycle Everywhere bins are meant for recyclable material only – such as aluminum cans, glass and plastic bottles, cartons and juice boxes. These items don’t need to be rinsed, simply emptied.
Disposable Coffee cups or similar types of other open cups aren’t accepted in Recycle Everywhere bins at this point and are considered contamination in many recycling programs because of the material composition of the cups, and the lack of a viable end-market for these materials. Each brand of coffee cup can be made up of very different materials for the lining and outer casing, this makes it hard for processors to come up with a universal solution to separate these materials from each other.
Some communities may accept open cups or lids but it’s always important to check with your local municipality first. In Winnipeg, the whole coffee cup including the lid is not recyclable.
The recycling industry is ever-changing which will hopefully lead to future developments with this material type.
Beverage containers are almost never made up of black plastic. Black plastic is not accepted at the Material Recovery Facility that handles Winnipeg’s municipal recycling, but it’s always important to check with your community to see what is accepted in your recycling program.
Almost all plastic beverage containers are #1 and #2 plastic, which is recyclable. These are also the most valuable plastics in the plastic stream.
When included with cartons in the recycling stream, juice box straws will be handled the same way as the plastic layer included in shelf stable cartons. It is, however, recommended that the straw is pushed entirely into the juice box when being recycled so that it does not get lost in the process and become residual waste.
The only type of bag that should be used in our bins are see-through recycling bags. These types of bags make it easy to see that the contents of the bag are recyclable and make it safe for the collector transporting it to the recycling facility.
A recycling collection bin or yard bin picked up by a hauler with several non-transparent bags in it can be deemed contaminated, causing the entire bins contents to be sent to the landfill.
Contamination in the recycling stream is currently a huge issue for the industry. Whatever consumers can do to avoid contaminating the recycling stream is helpful. Always check with your local community as to what is accepted in your recycling system.