Taking Responsibility of Recycling
The Utilities Department is perhaps best known as the entity to contact when paying your water bill on time. The department is also known for managing wastewater, recycled water, potable water, and water conservation – but beyond water, the department even manages community outreach and public education for all matters solid waste. Recent comment from the public along with council support has Utilities taking a closer look at recycling in public spaces.
As a citizen of SLO, you might have noticed new blue bins that have taken post at your local park. In collaboration with Parks Maintenance division of Public Works – Utilities launched pilot programs throughout the City, starting with a focus on public parks in the Laguna Lake area. The greatest hurdle in organizing a successful recycling program in SLO has historically been contamination by non-recyclable items, so periodically, members of our team will audit the bins to monitor contamination. If we can maintain contamination-free recycling bins, the program should be a success, but we need support from the community in doing so.
The IWMA recently published a verified list of locally recyclable materials. According to the list, household Items that are often mistaken as “recyclable” include paper cups, ice cream containers, tissue paper and ceramic coffee mugs!
Fortunately, there are easy ways to avoid contamination of recycling bins using the following train of thought:
- Check the list. The full recycling list is provided below.
- Wipe it clean. Wipe out food-containing recyclables with a paper towel before disposing of them. Rinsing wastes water and usually is not necessary.
- Properly dispose. Remember that recyclables should not be bagged (with the exception of shredded paper).
Contamination prevention starts at the bin and is the responsibility of our entire community. Thanks for recycling!