NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — Almost 20% of materials put out on the curb for recycling aren’t really recyclable, and end up in landfills.
So how can you be sure your green contributions are actually being put into the correct bins?
“A lot of different materials you know, people may assume can be recycled, some can some can’t. The most common ones that we see recycled are, cardboard, plastic, typically numbers one through seven, paper, cardboard, and newspaper,” said Diana Trussell, the solid waste program manager for the Department of Environmental Quality.
There are certain materials that may seem recyclable but aren’t.
Like plastic grocery bags and zip locks. They clog up sorting machines and can shut down entire plants, making workers take an entire load of materials to the landfill.
Things like lithium batteries can’t be put in your curbside recycling bin either. They are known for starting fires at recycling centers.
Recycling one glass bottle saves enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for four hours, power a computer for 30 minutes, or a TV for 20 minutes.
Not only does recycling conserve energy, reduce air and water pollution, and reduce greenhouse gases, but it saves tens of millions of dollars for taxpayers.
“The more we can recycle, the less we have to use our landfills. Which means that we’re not having to spend taxpayer dollars, those cities aren’t, and having to build new cells and it helps keep our garbage rates down,” said Trussell.
Environmentalists say one of the best ways to recycle, is to reuse and repurpose any type of recyclable material right in your own home.