“Recycling is like magic – it turns things into other things!” – Unknown.
In theory, recycling is like magic, but items placed into a recycling cart do not actually disappear. This illusion operates with the help of many employees that collect and sort your recyclable materials before they go off to their final destination to be made into new products. The truth is, not everything we purchase is made from materials that can be recycled. Although we have been told certain products are recyclable, such as needles, aerosol cans, batteries, used oil, and metal propane cylinders, these items are only accepted at specialized recycling facilities or retailers; not in the blue cart. But – why?
Our single-stream recycling programs and our Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) were designed specifically for household packaging and mixed paper products. MRF workers have to physically handle all items from your recycling carts that pass through to their final destinations; potentially exposing them to non-approved items like sharp razor blades, health hazards like used feminine hygiene products, and explosives like dispensed ammunition. Improperly recycled items can cause major issues such as explosions and fires, environmental or human exposure to toxic substances, injury, or worse. To prevent safety threats to all employees dealing with your recycling, it boils down to public responsibility for what is placed into the blue carts. Please don’t let careless errors terminate a convenient and simple service for everyone, or place someone’s life at risk.
Knowing what is and is not recyclable in different recycling programs can be difficult – it takes extra effort and responsible participation from all residents to make these programs run efficiently and properly. So, what can you do to help? Take action in your community, be responsible for your own waste, and don’t rely on others to do the job for you. If you are unsure if an item is recyclable, don’t guess – ask! Educate yourself by using the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council recycling search engine, following us on social media @LoraasYXE, or come for a recycling plant tour!