The City of Key West wants to remind the community what is recyclable and what is not to improve our recycling rate and reduce contamination.
Acceptable recycling items include paper, cardboard, clear, brown, or green glass bottles, plastics number 1 or 2 (Water bottles, soap, and shampoo bottles), clean aluminum foil, ferrous metals, soup cans, juice boxes, and cereal boxes. If you're disposing of cardboard boxes, please break them down. And used pizza boxes must have the greasy bottom torn off and put in with regular trash.
Plastic bags in the recycle bin are the number one contaminant. If you package your recyclables in plastic, it makes them trash and contaminates the entire bin. All of the blue bin contents will be disposed of as trash.
When they reach the sorting plant in Pembroke Pines, plastic bags are like gum in the machines. The plant must close the sorting machines for one or two hours daily to remove all plastic bags caught in the moving parts. The main causes for sorting issues and jams are hoses, electrical cords, and metal hangers, which can cause fires. None of the items that cause machine jams are recyclable.
Other trash in the bin will also contaminate the entire load. If the bin is contaminated with food, Styrofoam, or trash, it has to be picked up by the trash truck and cannot go into the recycling truck. Plastic pump bottles can be recycled but are sure they're clean and disposed of the pump mechanism into the regular trash.
Remembering these simple tips helps the community reach its recycling goals and keeps Key West beautiful.