Changes in the Recycling Industry
Recently, the village provided information on changes regarding what items can be recycled through the curbside recycling program. New stipulations being set forth by Republic Services are a result of national changes in the recycling industry. The Chinese government recently imposed new rules severely restricting the levels of contamination allowed in the recyclable material they accept. Since China has been the single largest consumer of recyclable materials, these changes have had catastrophic consequences on the U.S. recycling industry.
What is Contamination?
Contamination is any non-recyclable item (aka trash) that gets mixed into a bale of recyclable material. Previously when recyclable bales in the U.S. were sent to China, they were sorted and contaminated items were removed. China has changed its policy so that sent items can only include a .5 percent contamination rate, which is a challenge, if not impossible for recycling companies to meet.
The Good News
Many of the village’s residents are enthusiastic recyclers and want to make sure they’re doing it properly. The village encourages residents to recycle whenever possible but is aware that changes need to be made to ensure recycled materials placed in carts will be picked up and recycled, not placed in a landfill. We need the public’s help to make sure trash is not being included in recycling containers so that China’s new contamination limits can be met.
How You Can Help
It is important to include empty, clean, dry items that fall into the basic groups:
Cardboard and Paper
Metal and Aluminum Cans
Paper Containers and Cartons
Glass Jars and Bottles (previously disallowed but now being accepted once again)
Do not throw items in your recycling cart unless you know it can be recycled. When in doubt, throw it out! For a more detailed list of items that can be recycled, please visit the Village of Schaumburg’s webpage at http://bit.ly/2lnDYZe. Because recycling companies are continuing to seek alternative recycling markets for its materials, please be aware that information may change frequently; be sure to visit the webpage frequently as it will be updated with new information as it is received.
The Village of Schaumburg remains committed to providing recycling options for residents and is working closely with Republic Services so that residents know what options are available to them. For a list of other recycling opportunities in the village, please visit the village’s website at http://bit.ly/2fLdHo5.