With holidays aplenty this time of year, America Recycles Day is one that deserves to be celebrated! This nationally-recognized holiday was held on November 15th to promote, educate, and encourage people on how to be more mindful when recycling.
We can all get behind a good celebration, but how do we properly honor this holiday? By “recycling right”. It can sometimes be a bit confusing to recycle correctly, especially when the rules of recycling change quite frequently. To get on the path to recycling right, let’s answer some questions from our local Eagle Valley Elementary students that might also be on your mind!
- Why is it bad to put things in the landfill?
Once an item is in a landfill, it’s there forever! Since nothing breaks down in a landfill, they produce high amounts of methane gas. Landfills also take up a lot of space, contributing to habitat and resource destruction. Unfortunately, leachate from landfills can contaminate our soils and water.
- Why is it important to put recycling in the correct bin?
When we put items in the recycling bin that cannot be recycled, it causes contamination. Those items can damage the equipment at our recycling center, increase transportation costs, and may be dangerous to the people working in the facility.
- Where does our recycling go?
More than likely, the first stop your recycling makes on its journey is to our local Materials Recovery Facility located in Wolcott. From there, the different types of materials are distributed to a variety of buyers across the United States. Some items, like glass, stay here in Colorado, and other items, like plastic water bottles, can make their way as far as Georgia.
- Do you have to rinse your recycling?
Most of the time, a quick rinse will be just fine for your recyclables. The important thing is to ensure that the recycling is dry. If residual milk or other liquids make their way through a single-stream recycling bin, it can cause contamination to things like paper and cardboard.
While recycling can be confusing, there are plenty of resources around to help answer your questions. Take a look at our Waste Wizard App, join a free tour of our local recycling facility, reach out to your recycling hauler, or get in touch with the Waste Reduction & Diversion team at Walking Mountains. Let’s all celebrate this America Recycles Day and recycle right!