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Recycle Reuse • Reduce

By Staff | Jun 18, 2015

This is curbside recycling week in Emmetsburg. Driving through the community, how many actually use this service?

Years ago, the city was told to reduce the amount of trash going to the landfill. While I don’t know the actual numbers, the city can be fined for amounts over a certain tonnage. I believe that’s when the city put curbside recycling in place.

We all received a green sheet from Emmetsburg Municipal Utilities with the 2015 Curbside Recycling Schedule — monthly dates for recycling. North of Highway 18, pickup is the first and third Wednesday of each month; South of Highway 18, pickup is the first and third Thursday of each month.

This information is also on the sheet: Curbside recycling in Emmetsburg is picked up by Shamrock Recycling and delivered to Horizons Unlimited. Recycling participation helps reduce garbage pickup, helps the environment, and helps people with disabilities at Horizons Unlimited.

Recyclables must be clean and sorted:

Plastics:?containers with symbols marked 1-7. Not acceptable: recycle plastic toys, laundry baskets, motor oil or antifreeze bottles, or styrofoam.

Packaging Plastics: grocery bags, bread bags, furniture wrap, electronic wrap, cereal box liners, all bags labeled #2 or #4.

Paper and cardboard:?newspaper, magazines, copy and typing paper, including colored paper, non-waxed cardboard. Not acceptable: wrapping paper.

Glass: bottles and jars. Not acceptable: light bulbs, drinking glasses, baking dishes, window glass or mirrors.

Tin:?tin cans only. Not acceptable:?foil, paint cans.

If you miss recycling day, you can drop off recyclables at the 24/7 drop boxes at Horizons Unlimited.

You will note that our recyclables must be clean and sorted. Not so in other areas of the country. Apparently, some places do not even separate trash from recycling.

A news release from the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries and Earth 911 took a poll that shows there is public support for separating recyclables from waste. They noted:?”One-bin collection jeopardizes the quality of recyclables by mixing recyclables with wastes, including liquids, food, and chemicals, thereby lowering, and in many cases all-together destroying the value of the recyclables.”?Makes sense to me.

My family in Texas has one container for recyclables and one container for trash. We take it one additional step and separate the recyclables.

Sorting recyclables is simply a matter of one container for plastics, one for paper and cardboard, another for glass and tin. Yes, you need to keep it around for a couple of weeks, but isn’t it worth it? And, you are paying for curbside recycling pickup. Look on your utility bill.

Let’s all get with the program and recycle, reuse and reduce. Our earth will thank us one day.