Recycling is not always clear-cut as capability differs from state to state (and country to country). While many items have the recycling symbol on them, not all of them are accepted by Florida’s recycling facilities. After machines sift contents collected city-wide – heavy items drop to the bottom (e.g., aluminum cans), lighter items float to the top (e.g., paper) - workers must then sort out any non-recyclables by hands. This is time consuming and the facilities simply do not have the staff numbers to spot and remove every contaminant.
You can help workers by sorting recycling correctly at home. First, please do not toss out your recycling in plastic bags. Plastic bags can jam or break a facility's machines. Second, only the below categories should be recycled:
1 - Glass E.g., Wine, beer, and liquor bottles; jars
EXCEPTIONS: Light bulbs - Take them to Home Depot, Ikea, or Lowes (call ahead to ensure your local store has a running recycling program)
2 - Paper E.g., Envelopes (including those with plastic window); baguette wrappers; cardboard boxes; magazines; newspapers; beverage jugs
EXCEPTIONS: Tissue; shreds, pizza boxes; paper envelops with bubble wrapping - toss these in the trash
3 - Aluminum E.g, Food and soda cans
EXCEPTIONS: Foil; take out containers - toss in trash or reuse
4 - Plastic E.g., Water bottles; Milk jugs; coffee jugs; juice bottles; household cleaner bottles; shampoo bottles (tip: narrow neck bottles can be recycled in most cases)
EXCEPTIONS Plastic bags; black planters/pots; plastic wrapping; straws; shells
• Plastic bags: Take them to Publix where they are collected and recycle
• Planters/pots: trash or take back to your local garden center or nursery
• Wrapping and straws: trash
• Shells (e.g., berry containers): trash Along with the above exceptions, the below are also not recycled at Florida plants:
• Food – please throw your food in the trash or begin composting at home!
• Metal hangers – return these to your dry cleaners so they can be reused
• Batteries – drop these off at Best Buy to be disposed of responsibly
• Wires – trash
• Items marked as compostable - please throw in the trash
• Paint cans - Habitat for Humanity accepts leftover paint in order to recycle
• Styrofoam –Trash; will never decompose so refuse! refuse! refuse!
• Printer Ink Cartridges - return to Home Depot or Staples
• Electronic waste – return to Staples, Home Depot or Best Buy (call ahead to make sure your local store in part of a recycling program)
Small changes on your part can have a big impact. Let’s do our part to keep our city green and our economy flourishing.