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The dirt on recycling in Akron

5/8/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Stephanie Kist

As of December, city of Akron recycling customers now should place their items loosely together into their recycling container for easier sorting at the Material Recovery Facility. The city also now accepts milk, juice, broth, soup and other food and beverage cartons for recycling.
Flier courtesy of the city of Akron
DOWNTOWN AKRON — With spring cleaning and yard work getting underway, the more than 41,000 curb service customers in the city of Akron who participate in the recycling program are being reminded of some do’s and don’ts.

Robert Harris, superintendent of the city’s Sanitation Services Division, reminds curb service customers that yard waste from springtime yard cleanup should not be placed in the recycling containers used by residents.

Additionally, as of last December, recycling customers now should place their items loosely and mixed together into their recycling container for easier sorting at the Material Recovery Facility to which city sanitation crews take recyclable materials. Customers should not sort their own recyclables.

“It makes it a lot easier for the customer just to place everything loose in the recycling container,” Harris said. “It makes a nice transition for everybody involved.”

Harris stressed that plastic bags are not acceptable to place in recycling containers and can actually entwine the machinery at the sorting facility and shut it down.

Harris said that some customers have had concerns about loose items falling out of the containers and blowing around in the wind.

“We have not seen that at all,” he said, adding that his household was one of the first to mix loose items in the container, and he hasn’t had any spillages.

The city also now accepts milk, juice, broth, soup and other food and beverage cartons for recycling. Customers should rinse out any food carton before placing it in the recycling container.

Other acceptable items are: paper and cardboard, including newspapers, junk mail, phone books, cereal or tissue boxes and nonshredded school or office paper (flatten cardboard, but do not tie or bundle); plastics nos. 1-7; aluminum and other metal cans (labels are fine); and glass bottles and jars. Food containers such as those for yogurt, sour cream, butter, margarine and coffee creamer, as well as soap, dish liquid and laundry detergent containers are acceptable.

Harris said between 41,000 and 42,000 of the about 61,000 curb service customers recycle, and most do it correctly, but there are instances of recycling containers becoming contaminated.

The following items are unacceptable for recycling and are never to be placed in the recycling container: aerosol cans (empty or full); aluminum foil; auto parts; bottle caps or lids; campaign signs; chains; clothing; dirt; drinking glasses, vases and pitchers; electronic appliances; electronic waste (batteries, cell phones, computers, etc.); fluorescent bulbs; food waste; garden hoses; hangers; hardware tools; hazardous waste (paint, pesticides, cleaners); leaves; light bulbs; medical waste (syringes, needles, etc.); metal items; mini blinds; pizza boxes; plastic bags (zipper-seal, grocery); plastic wrap; pots and pans; railroad ties/spikes; shoes; Styrofoam; tarps; tissues/napkins; trash; used oil or oil containers; window panes, mirrors or ceramics; wood; or yard waste.

These items should be placed in the trash.

For more information on curb service, trash pickup and recycling in the city of Akron, go to www.akronohio.gov and click on “Residents,” then “City Departments,” then “Public Service,” then “Public Works” to access the Trash Collection Division and Recycling Collection Division pages.

Those who would like to request a recycling cart to begin participating in the recycling program, or request another cart, may do so through the city’s 3-1-1 call center. Call 3-1-1 from any landline within the city, or 330-375-2311 from any telephone.

Curb service customers who participate in recycling receive a $2.50 discount per month and pay $19 vs. the $21.50 charged to customers who do not recycle.

Customers also can look for a four-page packet in the city’s news brochure this summer with more information about special pickups and recycling.

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