Recycling Done Right

T E X A R K A N A M O N T H LY

SO, WHAT CAN WE RECYCLE? Here is a list offered by Waste Management:

• DO recycle plastic bottles, jugs, and containers, rinsed out with caps screwed on tightly. Loose caps fall through sorting screens and end up in the trash.

• DO recycle rinsed out food and beverage cans. There is no need to remove labels.

• DO recycle all paper.

DO NOT RECYCLE • That disposable paper cup from your favorite coffee shop is most likely NOT recyclable! They line these cups with a thin plastic coating that is almost impossible to separate from the cup itself.

• DO recycle flattened cardboard and paperboard.

• DO recycle food and beverage cartons, rinsed out with caps screwed on tightly.

Remember that food waste, plastic bags or film, and Styrofoam products have no place in the recycle bin. Other items to keep out of the curbside bin are glass bottles or containers, batteries and electronics, clothing, and yard waste. Curbside recycling is offered to residents of Texarkana, Texas by Waste Management. Texarkana, Arkansas residents do not have curbside service, but can take items to the Recycling Center located at 2601 Dudley Street. The New Boston Landfill offers free recycling for a variety of electronics including cell phones, computers, and printers to all Texarkana residents. You can find out more information about recycling procedures at www.wm.com and www.earth911.com . Waste Management reported from January through May 2020, Texarkana residents generated 4,449 tons of waste. Of this total, 551 tons were recycled (12%) and 674 tons was yard waste (15%). So, the total diverted from landfill was 1,225 tons (22%). This is the environmental equivalent of keeping 385 cars off the road and saving 200,441 gallons of gasoline! While it may seem like pollution is an overwhelming problem, too big for individuals, these numbers show how even our simplest efforts can make a difference. Now more than ever, we all need to do our part! The future of the planet is in our hands.

• Toothpaste tubes may have a plastic exterior, but they are often lined with other materials such as aluminum.

• Toothbrushes have hard plastics in the handle, but soft plastic bristles.

• Clamshell containers, such as the ones containing strawberries at the grocery store and most takeout containers from your favorite restaurant, have soft plastic in the hinge and a harder plastic shell.

All these items should be kept out of your curbside bin.

Are you a socially conscious person who has been “helpfully” putting recyclables in a plastic bag before placing them in the curbside bin? It turns out that plastic bags are the number one enemy of recycling facilities. They quickly degrade and clog up expensive sorting equipment. Instead, use your well-intentioned efforts to put recyclable items directly in the bin and take plastic bags to your local grocery store recycle station. Waste Management is the company that manages curbside recycling for the City of Texarkana, TX. Greta Calvery, WM Public Affairs Manager, says, “the most common contaminants in curbside recycling are foam cups and containers, glass, clothing, and food.” She explained, “Clothing can wrap around equipment and conveyor belts at the recycling facility, shutting them down. In Texarkana, recycling carts that are heavily contaminated are tagged and the contamination must be removed before the recycling facility will accept it.” This is one more obstacle that slows down the entire process.

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