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Recycling Tips

February 8, 2019

Ben Wiebe, a Direct Support Professionals, who works in the recycling department/recycling depot at Gateway Resources, committed, during the month of December, to writing a daily recycling tip based on what he saw in the recycling depot on that day. We featured these daily posts on our Facebook page (as seen below). Thank you Ben for your commitment to Gateway and to encouraging clean recycling.

Daily recycling tip #1: We do NOT accept furniture or other wooden items. If you have an old computer desk that you want to get rid of, bring it to your garbage please. *We cannot recycle your garbage*

Daily recycling tip #2: You just finished a nice spaghetti dinner. You didn’t quite need all of the spaghetti sauce in the can. What do you do next? Just toss the can into your recycling bin with the sauce left in it right? Wrong! Take 10 seconds and give the can a rinse. Clean recycling is easier to collect, sort, and sell. *Remember, there are human beings who sort your recycling*

Daily recycling tip #3: So, you just set up your brand new Christmas tree on the weekend. That’s great! But what do you do with your old artificial tree? Well, maybe give it away or try to sell it, or take it apart and put it in your garbage. But please don’t drop off your Christmas trees for recycling. Christmas trees have too many mixed elements to be considered recyclable. Again: *We cannot recycle your garbage*

Daily recycling tip #4: You have kids. Kids are great. Kids require diapers sometimes. Now here’s the important part. Are you still reading? DIAPERS ARE NEVER RECYCLABLE. Never. As you can probably imagine, they aren’t the most pleasant thing to find while sorting through recycling. To recap: Diapers are garbage. *We cannot recycle your garbage*

Daily recycling tip #5: Clothing is NOT recyclable. If you have any items of clothing that you wish to dispose of, either find a thrift store or local organization to donate to, or just garbage them. Clothing is considered garbage. *We cannot recycle your garbage*

Daily recycling tip #6: Automotive parts are not recyclable, including small motors, oil filters, and loose “odds and ends” etc. It can be tough to figure out where to drop off certain things, but please don’t include automotive parts in your recycling.

Daily recycling tip #7: Construction materials are NOT recyclable. That includes, but is not limited to, the following: • Drywall • Nails/screws • Insulation • Lumber/plywood • Shingles • Siding • Paint I have seen each of the above items come through recycling in the last 2 months. If it belongs in an industrial garbage dumpster, please do not put it in your recycling. *We cannot recycle your garbage*

Daily recycling tip #8: We do not accept Styrofoam, so if you have cardboard boxes with Styrofoam in them (from TV’s, microwaves, furniture etc.), please take the time to remove the non-recyclables from the boxes. Styrofoam is considered garbage. You guessed it: *We cannot recycle your garbage*

Daily recycling tip #9: This is for people who drop off recycling at our depot. Contrary to popular belief, you do NOT need to sort your recycling into separate bins in the depot. For example, if you have spaghetti sauce cans (see tip #2), and 2 empty boxes of spaghetti noodles, plus a plastic container from washing detergent, just throw all of that into any one of the bins along the *north* wall, which has a sign that says Mixed Recycling. If you have newspaper or other paper-based items, they go in any of the bins that are along the *east* wall. There is also a sign above these bins; it says “Paper Recycling.” Corrugated cardboard goes in the black metal “cages.” We’ve done our best to make sure that signs are clear and up to date.

Daily recycling tip #10: We do accept electronic waste at Gateway, but there are guidelines to follow. Not everything with a cord is considered acceptable e-waste. We do NOT accept vacuum cleaners, Christmas lights, or lamps, among other things. We do accept things like computers/monitors, TV’s, cellular devices, and tablets. For a full list of acceptable e-waste, please click the following link.

Daily recycling tip #11 When you read this, you may be thinking, why does this even need to be posted? But unfortunately, it does need to be posted. This one is for pet owners, specifically dog and cat owners. We cannot recycle cat litter, or dog feces. As I’m sure you can probably imagine, those are definitely not pleasant materials to find in what should be recyclable material. Whether you drop recyclables off at our depot, bring bags to your curb for pickup, or fill your recycling bin for pickup, PLEASE do not include those kinds of materials.

Daily recycling tip #12: Just because one part of an item is recyclable, that doesn’t mean it’s an acceptable item. Furnace filters are a good example of this. Sure, the frame is recyclable, but the actual filter is not. Furnace filters are garbage. *We cannot recycle your garbage*

Daily recycling tip #13 It is getting closer to Christmas, and perhaps you enjoy “Christmas oranges” or clementines. I know I sure do! However, many of these oranges/clementines are sold in small wooden crates, like the one in the picture below. These are NOT recyclable. There are many ways you can re-purpose these little crates, but wood is not recyclable at Gateway so please don’t include them in your recycling.

Daily recycling tip #14: It’s FRIDAY! That’s good news! Do you know what else is good news? We accept household glass! If you want to drop it off at the depot, we have a large metal bin in front of the depot. It’s marked “GLASS”, so you can’t miss it!

Daily recycling tip #15: Canvas is not recyclable at Gateway so please don’t include your beautiful canvas art pieces. Yesterday at work I picked out numerous canvas art projects which looked quite creative and fun, but unfortunately they are not recyclable in any way, so they go in the garbage. You guessed it: *We cannot recycle your garbage*

Daily recycling tip #16: We accept batteries at Gateway! The preferred method is for you to put the batteries in a sealable bag, rather than just throwing them loosely into your bin/blue-bag.

Daily recycling tip #17: Food items are NOT recyclable. Just this morning, I found a full size half-eaten birthday cake in the depot. These items belong in the compost. *We cannot recycle your compost*

Daily recycling tip #18: This one is related to yesterday’s tip. A co-worker was emptying a bin this afternoon and found a whole fish, in a bag. They also found a bag full of animal intestines. These items are never recyclable. PLEASE, do not include animal by-products in your recycling.

Daily recycling tip #19: This morning I found a crib mattress in our depot. Mattresses of any kind are NEVER recyclable. They belong in the garbage as they can not be recycled at Gateway.

Daily recycling tip #20: We do NOT accept single-use plastic bags at Gateway. The only plastic bags that we accept are blue/clear bags *that contain recyclable materials*. Bags filled with other bags are NOT acceptable at Gateway.

Daily recycling tip #21: Happy Friday! We made it through another week! If you’re planning to drop off recycling at the Gateway Recycling Depot, please remember that the black metal cages in the depot are for corrugated cardboard only. Please do not put anything other than cardboard into the black metal cages. There are bins along the north wall of the depot for your mixed recyclables such as aluminum cans, tin cans, plastic bottles etc. As well as the bins along the east wall, which are for your paper products.

Daily recycling tip #22: If you are dropping your mixed recyclables off at the Gateway Depot, please make the effort to put the mixed recycling into the bins, instead of just on the floor by the entrance. If there’s space in the mixed recycling bins, please use the bins. Like the signs in the depot say: Please help us keep the floor clean.

Daily recycling tip #23: As I mentioned in an earlier tip, we do accept household glass at Gateway. However, it is important to note that only EMPTY glass containers are acceptable. That means: • Empty your glass pickle jars after Sunday “Faspa” is done ;) • Give your jam/jelly containers a rinse before recycling them • Empty your wine/liquor bottles before recycling them You get the idea right?

Daily recycling tip #24: DVD’s/CD’s are not accepted at Gateway. Some DVD *cases* may be acceptable, as long as they have a recycling symbol on them. Also, make sure to take the thin clear plastic casing off of the DVD case if you do plan to recycle the case. Same idea for video game cases (Xbox, PlayStation etc). Remember, the discs are never acceptable, so remove them first.

Daily recycling tip #25: First and most importantly: Merry Christmas! I hope everyone has the chance to spend some time with loved ones today. If your living room looks like mine did this morning, with wrapping paper everywhere, please keep reading. Gateway only accepts wrapping paper that is COMPLETELY paper. That means foil or glittery/plasticized wrapping is NOT accepted. Please make a conscious effort to recycle correctly this holiday season.

Daily recycling tip #26: Most toys are not acceptable at Gateway. Why? They have too many mixed elements. For example, a toy truck may seem to be completely plastic, but they often have metal fasteners, rubber, and various other materials within them. Please do not include toys in your recycling. Get creative, think of some other ways you could get rid of unwanted toys! There are many local organizations that would benefit from gently used toys.

Daily recycling tip #27: Please do NOT use black bags for your recycling. Why? We need to be able to see what’s inside the bags. If I had to make an estimate, 4 out of every 5 black bags that we see, contain mostly non-recyclable materials like diapers and other garbage. If you choose to use bags for your recycling, PLEASE use clear bags.

Daily recycling tip #28: Some unwanted surprises found in recycling in the past two days included dog feces in dark bags, some human feces, loads of diapers, and a 3 full vacuum cleaner bags. Also seen on the sort line was a partially filled container of canola oil, an almost full bottle of baby oil, and glass jars still containing food items. This is only a small list of things we have to deal with when working on the recycling sort line. Please do your part in making a better environment for our workers by only putting acceptable recyclables into recycling.

Daily recycling tip #29: Pictures taken this morning (Saturday, December 29th) depict a very common scene at the Gateway Recycling depot. You can clearly see that there are multiple bins that have room for the bags, but yet, there is a pile of bags right by the entrance. If there are bins that have space in them, PLEASE carry your recyclables a few extra steps and put them in the bins. It is not a difficult task to do, and yet, it makes a notable difference. If people see a pile of bags, they often just add to it, thinking it’s the right thing to do. The bins are there for a reason, please use them.

Daily recycling tip #30: We do not accept oil, antifreeze, cooking oils, or any other liquid, no matter what kind of container it is in. On a regular basis at Gateway, we see partially full containers of various liquids like motor oil, canola oil, baby oil, antifreeze, etc. Please research proper options for recycling your oils/hazardous liquids, and NEVER bring them to Gateway.

Daily recycling tip #31 One month of daily tips is now complete, and the year is coming to an end! With 2019 just hours away, let’s all do our part in the New Year to recycle responsibly. Think about recycling, don’t just guess or assume. If you are unsure if something is recyclable or not, look it up! And if you don’t find the answers you need, give us a call at Gateway. For more information on acceptable/non-acceptable recyclables or e-waste please see the ‘Recycling’ page on this (Gateway Resources) website.

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