Recycling is easy, but rules must be followed

Plastic bags, other items can’t be recycled

Recycling is a beneficial thing to do. It reduces the amount of material that gets buried in landfills and is left to decay for decades to come.

It also reduces the demand for our natural resources by enabling certain materials to be used over again.

Over the years, people in Fort Dodge have embraced recycling in a big way. In fact, local residents recycled 1,105 tons of material in the fiscal year that ended June 30, according to city Public Works Director Brett Daniel.

To that, we say good job Fort Dodge.

Recycling is pretty easy. All Fort Dodge homeowners have to do is drop the recycling material in their bin and roll it out to the curb on their designated collection day. Those who live in apartments don’t get curbside service, but there are large bins positioned in a few places around town where they can get rid of their recycling materials.

While recycling is pretty easy, there are some rules to follow to make the process successful.

For instance, do not put plastic shopping bags in the recycling bins.

Those bags get tangled up in the machinery that’s used to process recycling materials. Representatives of the Fort Dodge Public Works Department and the Regional Recycling Center say getting those bags in the recycling stream is the biggest headache they have right now.

”It can harm the equipment,” said Jason Slinker, the operations manager of the Regional Recycling Center.

So it bears repeating: don’t put plastic bags in the recycling bins.

There are some other things that shouldn’t go in the recycling bins. They include plastic foam, wrapping paper, wax-coated cardboard (milk and juice cartons are good examples of wax-coated cardboard), clothing and light bulbs.

Pizza boxes also do not belong in the recycling bin. Yes, they are made of cardboard, but invariably they get drops of sauce on them that make them unsuitable for recycling.

Recently, the Public Works Department has been placing stickers on recycling bins in which crews find items that can’t be recycled. We hope anyone who gets such a sticker accepts it as the advice it is meant to be. Calling up the city’s Central Garage and blowing up at whoever answers the phone is definitely the wrong way to respond to one of those stickers.

”We want people to recycle,” Daniel said. ”It just has to be in the correct way.”

Let’s all follow his advice and load up those recycling bins with the right things.