What is Contamination?

Any non-recyclable item placed in a recycling bin is considered contamination. A single piece of contamination in a recycling bin can have far-reaching, long lasting impacts. Recyclables that have been contaminated can no longer be processed, and instead pose a further risk to other recyclables. This can mean that entire bins of valuable recycling can be diverted to the landfill.

What is Contamination?

Any non-recyclable item placed in a recycling bin is considered contamination. A single piece of contamination in a recycling bin can have far-reaching, long lasting impacts. Recyclables that have been contaminated can no longer be processed, and instead pose a further risk to other recyclables. This can mean that entire bins of valuable recycling can be diverted to the landfill.

Background

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 your recyclables will stay out of 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.

Background

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 your recyclables will stay out of 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.

Common Contaminators

Some of the most common contaminants found in Recycle Everywhere bins are leftover liquids, food and food soiled materials, disposable coffee cups and other types of open cups and lids.

Leftover Liquid

Leftover liquids 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. This type of contamination is very easy to avoid, simply empty your beverage container before dropping in the blue bin.

Food Waste

Food and other organic waste is a big contributor to contamination in Manitoba. Sandwich wrappers and greasy pizza boxes meant for the trash can contaminate recycling bins. Organic waste like banana peels and apple cores are not recyclable, but can be composted if a program is available (link to other resources page).

Coffee Cups

Disposable coffee cups and other types of open cups aren’t accepted in our bins, and are considered contamination in many of the province’s recycling programs. The lack of a viable end market for these materials and the fact that every brand of coffee cup can be made up of very different materials for the lining and outer casing, makes it hard for processors to come up with a universal solution to separate these materials. The recycling industry is ever-changing which will hopefully lead to future developments with this material type.

Common Contaminators

Some of the most common contaminants found in Recycle Everywhere bins are leftover liquids, food and food soiled materials, disposable coffee cups and other types of open cups and lids.

Leftover Liquid

Leftover liquids 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. This type of contamination is very easy to avoid, simply empty your beverage container before dropping in the blue bin.

Food Waste

Food and other organic waste is a big contributor to contamination in Manitoba. Sandwich wrappers and greasy pizza boxes meant for the trash can contaminate recycling bins. Organic waste like banana peels and apple cores are not recyclable, but can be composted if a program is available (link to other resources page).

Coffee Cups

Disposable coffee cups and other types of open cups aren’t accepted in our bins, and are considered contamination in many of the province’s recycling programs. The lack of a viable end market for these materials and the fact that every brand of coffee cup can be made up of very different materials for the lining and outer casing, makes it hard for processors to come up with a universal solution to separate these materials. The recycling industry is ever-changing which will hopefully lead to future developments with this material type.

Are you ready to recycle?

Make it easy for everyone in Manitoba to recycle their beverage containers. Sign up and order the bins you need for your workplace, campus, community or home.

Get Started

Are you ready to recycle?

Make it easy for everyone in Manitoba to recycle their beverage containers. Sign up and order the bins you need for your workplace, campus, community or home.

Get Started