Shoreline Recology explains recycling changes due to contamination

Monday, July 8, 2019

From Shoreline Recology

Until recently, many recycled materials in the U.S. were sold to companies in China. To address public health and environmental concerns caused by contamination of this material, the Chinese government has effectively banned the import of these recycled materials.

Contamination of imported materials is caused by liquid, food, and non-recyclable items. As Recology and the recycling industry adapt to the change in end use markets, contamination remains a significant challenge.

In 2018, contamination of recycling bins in Shoreline ranged from 11.5%-30.5% of the material. Our goal is to reduce that rate to five percent (5%) or less.

In support of this effort, the City of Shoreline’s contract with Recology was recently amended. As part of the amendment, waste disposal fees increased by $1.35 per month for single-family residential customers and $2.25 per cubic yard of waste for commercial and multi-family customers effective August 1, 2019.

View your new rates for service. This increase will be used to help pay for additional costs associated with processing and marketing recyclable materials and provide additional education and outreach programs designed to reduce recycling contamination.

Another important change includes the elimination of plastic bags and plastic films (i.e. plastic wrapped around cases of bathroom tissue) from the items accepted in your blue bin. Plastic bags and film cause significant challenges in the recycling process and are difficult to capture and recycle when mixed with other recyclables. This material should be bagged together and taken to a drop off location, such as a local grocery store, or placed in the garbage as a last resort.

Please help us reduce recycling contamination by keeping non-recyclable materials out of the blue bin. Only the following materials are accepted:
  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Metal
  • Glass (bottles, jars)
  • Plastic tubs, jugs, bottles and rigid plastics larger than 3 inches

Additionally, recyclable material in your blue bin should be empty, clean and dry. A few drops of liquid here and there are okay, but excessive liquid or food debris will cause paper to mold and render it non-recyclable.

View a complete list of updated recycling guidelines including posters that can be downloaded and printed.

If you have questions about recycling or your Recology services, please contact us at the main number of 206-763-4444. You can also call this number to schedule training or presentations for groups.

We will be in the community this summer at Shoreline Solarfest on July 27th and Celebrate Shoreline on August 17th and hope to see you there.



3 comments:

Unknown July 8, 2019 at 7:12 AM  

Why don't we just go back to sorting the recycling at home? It wasn't that long ago we had bins for paper and cans. We could have a third one for plastic. At least then the paper would remain untainted even if the other two were not done correctly.

Anonymous,  July 8, 2019 at 10:40 AM  

And if I can't have separated recycling at my house (or drop off at close location) then more is going in my garbage -

Anonymous,  July 9, 2019 at 2:01 AM  

So we're paying for the privilege of wasting water to clean recyclables and increasing our water bill. What a racket!

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