Pembroke Pines is initiating many practices to improve their resource management. There is a growing problem within the city in regards to the recycling program. The problem is not that local residents fail to recycle, because there are claims that they have 10 pounds of recycled materials collected a day. The issue lies with what is put into the recycling containers. Reports have cited that 18 to 30 percent of the materials being put in the recycling blue bins cannot be recycled. This is significant, since this means that the whole recycling stream is contaminated and has to be manually sorted. Some examples of items which get caught in the recycling stream include; clothing, plastic bags and food waste. Not only do these items contaminate the recycling materials surrounding them, but they also force the recycling plant to have to stop their operations while they remove them. Thus, the factory becomes less efficient and ultimately loses money and sometimes stops or limits recycling operations.
From a young age, people have been taught what can and cannot get put in the recycling can. Yet somehow contamination is still a lingering issue. This means one of two things; either people are choosing intentionally to put the wrong things in the recycling or that they honestly forget what is able to be recycled. They may also be putting the wrong stuff in the various recycling bins ie: putting cardboard in a container meant only for glass. Here is a friendly reminder to make sure that you fill your blue container up to the brim with the correct recyclables such as paper, plastic bottles and aluminum to name a few. Trash and recycling collection takes place in the morning, so we recommend that you put it out the night before pickup with the lid firmly closed that way the waste company can efficiently collect all of the recycling in a timely manner. Do not be that guy who throws in old electronics or food waste and contaminates the recycling. Click this link for a quick reminder as to what you are able to put in the recycling, as well as what day your recycling gets collected. Another good practice is to print a copy of the flyer showing what is recyclable and post it near your residential trash collection as a constant reminder.
Image courtesy of http://www.wlrn.org/post/tale-too-much-wishcycling-look-miami-dades-low-recycle-rate
Lack of recycling not only makes Pembroke Pines look dirty, but it also negatively impacts waste service companies. Waste companies are trying to efficiently perform the civic job of cleaning up after people, but they are having a harder and harder time with the lack of correct recycling. Pembroke Pines, like most other nearby Florida cities, contracts a waste hauler to service the entire community. It is not cost effective for local residents to force waste workers to sift through the recycling and try and remove trash and other materials that cause contamination. It is proven that looking for plastic bags or clothing items within the recycled material forces the facility to stop, leading to it to lose money and increase the chance of safety issues. Often times the higher cost of handling contamination is placed back upon the residents with increased garbage handling bills. It takes the entire community to be accountable for cleaning up after themselves and double check that they are correctly sorting the right materials when recycling.