Help your county! Recycling reduces waste disposal costs and increases revenue for the county. It is the environmentally sound way to manage trash.
Plastic is collected at county convenience centers and city drop-off sites for recycling. Plastics are consolidated, sorted and baled at the Putnam County Recycling Center.
Materials that can be recycled in Putnam County at city drop-off sites and county convenience centers include cardboard (no waxed or slick); paper (newspaper, junk mail, office paper, etc.); metals (aluminum/steel/tin cans); glass (bottles and jars only); and plastics #1 and #2 (water/soda bottles, milk or juice bottles, detergent/soap bottles). These materials must be clean and dry. When materials that cannot be recycled are put into the recycling bin, they must be sorted out by hand. This is time consuming and often contaminates other recyclables. Contamination is defined as material that is placed in a recycling collection bin that is not recyclable. Contamination can consist of food waste, Styrofoam, plastic wrap and anything else that is not specifically identified on the collection bin as recyclable. All collection bins are clearly labeled with the materials that can be recycled.
Plastic bags are considered contamination in the recycling collection bins. Many people pack recyclables into plastic bags and drop the whole bag into the recycling bin. Plastic bags should never go into the recycling bin. They can be used at your home to collect recyclables but should not go into the collection bins. Bags are considered “contamination” and must be sorted out. Shopping bags cannot be recycled at the county recycling center but can be recycled at the front of any of the stores that provide shopping bags to their customers, such as Walmart or Kroger.
It has gotten harder to get recyclable materials into new products due to the level of contamination in the materials that are being sold to manufacturers. In July 2017, China announced that it would no longer accept any recyclables from the United States due to contamination. Since then, recyclers have been scrambling to find other countries interested in purchasing recyclables. Sadly, almost one in three items (33%) that are “recycled” are actually garbage and must be sorted out by hand. It is much more expensive to put garbage in a recycling bin than it is to put it in the garbage can.
Recycling reduces the amount of waste that goes into a landfill but only if it is done properly. Done improperly, it can contaminate other recyclables causing them all to be discarded in a landfill. Recyclables must be dry and clean. Only those items that can be recycled should be recycled. Recycle right and when in doubt -- throw it out!