Letter: Are you recycling right?



People in our community have been doing a good job recycling, but did you know not everything you put in the bin is recycled? One dirty item can contaminate a whole batch of recycling and is considered unusable and thrown into a landfill. Food is a big source of contamination. You should wash all containers that have food residue on it (like pasta sauce in the bottle, yogurt/milk/juice containers, coffee cups).

To check if you can recycle plastic containers, look at the bottom of the container for a triangle. The numbers 1-7 inside the triangle can be recycled as per Republic Services. Do not put any styrofoam or packing peanuts in the recycling bin. All cardboard boxes, like cereal boxes and Amazon boxes, should be flattened. Items with food residue, like pizza boxes and disposable cups/plates/napkins, cannot be recycled.

Plastic grocery bags are not recyclable but some grocery stores will take them back. Also, do not put recycling items in trash bags, but instead put them in the recycling bin individually.

By taking these simple steps, we can keep trash out of landfills and help our Carmel community.

Vikram Rao, 12-year-old Carmel resident