With “single-stream” recyclable collection, Addison residents can toss so much more into their curbside recycling bin than ever before. Paper milk and juice cartons are allowed and so are the Number 5 and 7 plastics, relieving people of having to squint at the bottom of butter bins and puzzle over plastic bottles.
Still, some residents may find themselves with a nagging question at mid-toss. Can that pizza box be recycled? (Actually, no.) What about the plastic bags from the grocery store? (No, again.)
It’s not necessarily obvious, but these excluded items are not suitable recyclables because they can jam the recycling machinery, says Alison Ream, assistant to the city manager. Pizza boxes, for instance, can be weighed down with food waste, creating a soggy mess that can clog sorting equipment at the recyclers. The same goes for those flimsy plastic bags (another reason to use reusable shopping totes).
But the most important thing to remember when recycling is that all recyclables should be clean and free of food waste, Ream said. Bottles or cans that haven’t been rinsed clean can contaminate other recyclables, she said.
So rinse, and the rest is a cinch.
To help assure that residents are giving their recyclables a proper send off, the Town of Addison Infrastructure Operations and Services Department put together a DO/DON’T graphic:
|DO RECYCLE||HOW TO RECYCLE||DON’T RECYCLE|
Phone Books, office paper, junk mail, cereal, food boxes & flattened cardboard
|Place loose in green bin or stack in bags on top of or beside bin. If it looks like rain, save for next week. Wet paper CANNOT be recycled.||Pizza boxes or other paper products|
Food and beverage bottles marked with #’s 1-7 on the bottom
|Rinse and remove the lids, place in your green bin. Bottles may be crushed to conserve space.||Plastic wrap, plastic bags, plastic toys or other types of plastic bottles such as those used for automotive or other hazardous materials|
|ALUMINUM AND METAL CANS
Food & beverage cans, empty aerosol cans
|Rinse cans and place in green bin. It is helpful if you remove the paper labels.||Scrap metal, paint cans, automotive product cans, pie tins or disposable aluminum plates|
Clear, brown and green glass food & beverage bottles
|Rinse and remove the lids. Place in green bin. It is helpful if you remove the paper labels.||Light bulbs, plate glass, auto glass, tempered glass, mirrors, ceramics or any glass that is not a food or beverage bottle|
OK, we’ve mastered cans, bottles and newspapers. But there are still dozens of oddball items that don’t have a place in either the trash or the home recycling bin.
Burned out light bulbs, old batteries, paint cans, unwanted pesticides and leftover oil and solvents tend to malinger, collecting in corners and garages while we decide what to do with them.
Take the first step by installing an eco-system: Gather up all these problematic items and assign them to a home collection box. That will keep your toxic or hazardous leftovers safer until you can deal with them, and let everyone know where these items go when they’re retired.
A separate bin for batteries and light bulbs can keep things neat and avoid breakage.
Next step: Get these discards to a safe disposal center. Many of these materials are at least partially recyclable. They just need special processing, and that begins at a hazardous waste collection center.
The Town of Addison partners with the Dallas County Home Chemical Collection Center, 11234 Plano Rd., Dallas, TX 75243, where Addison residents can safely dispose of their hazardous products.
Below is a list of what you can, and cannot, dispose of at the Chemical Collection Center, which is open Tuesday-Saturday. Remember to take proof of residency, a photo ID and a utility bill.
|BRING||DO NOT BRING|
|Chemical products for home use||Business or commercial waste|
|Paint and home repair products||Containers larger than 5 gallons|
|Lawn and garden chemicals||Explosives or ammunition|
|Aerosol sprays||Shock sensitive materials|
|Pool chemicals||Smoke detectors|
|Craft and hobby supplies||Radioactive materials|
|Cleaners and polishes||Medical waste|
|Batteries of all kinds||Common trash or recyclables|
|Automotive fluids, gas, and oil filters||Construction debris|
|Computers and cell phones||Electronics other than computers and cell phones|
|Fluorescent light tubes|
…BRING ALL OF THE FOLLOWING ITEMS
|Floor wax||Furniture polish||Metal polish|
|Mothballs||Oven cleaners||Toilet bowl cleaners|
|Tub & tile cleaners||Window cleaners||Aerosol sprays|
|Nail polish remover||Spot removers||Photo chemicals|
|Hobby paints & glazes||Glues & cements||Rechargeable batteries|
|Paints & stains||Stain & varnish removers||Pool chemicals|
|Fluorescent light tubes||Thermometers||Turpentine & paint removers|
|Vehicle batteries||Motor oil||Brake fluid|