Thursday, October 3, 2019

Recycling - Contamination Concerns

Please take a minute to read this important message about recycling from Pellitteri:

As your local service provider and the recycling sorting facility operator, it is our job to help keep the trash out of the recycling stream and thus keep our local recycling systems strong.

Contamination rates at the Material Recovery Facility (MRF), where your recyclables are sorted, are increasing.

How do we keep the trash and non-recyclables out of the recycling stream? Together let's tackle the problem head-on and get back to the basics of recycling. Place only approved recyclables in your recycling cart. For a current recycling list, please click here.

If you are unsure if something is recyclable, please review the recycling list prior to placing it in your recycling cart or toss it in the trash. While we don't want to encourage sending potentially recyclable items to the landfill, we do want to make sure we're sending the right things to the MRF. If you have specific questions please call us at (608) 257-4285 or email

If your recycling cart has any visible trash or non-recyclables in it, it will be tagged with a notice of non-pickup due to contamination and not serviced.

If you would like to learn more about the current state of the recycling industry, please view this article from the President of one of the mills where your sorted paper is taken.

Common Contaminants (click here for more):
  • Brush & yard waste
  • Styrofoam®, packing peanuts, and other foam plastics, even if there is a recycling symbol on it
  • Non-recyclable plastics:
  • Plastic plates, plastic silverware, toys, random small plastic pieces, plastic lids that are not attached to a container, etc.
  • If there is not a recycling symbol on it, it should not go in the single-stream
  • Single-serve coffee pods (ex: Keurig K-Cups®)
  • Full or only partially emptied containers, including: aerosol cans, tin/steel cans with food still in them, plastic containers with food still in them, cardboard boxes with things still in them
  • Extension cords, garden hoses, and other “stringy” items
  • Rubber
  • ANY Syringes, with or without needles attached
  • Large metal items/metal items heavier than 10 pounds
  • Diapers
  • Flammable containers (even if there is a recycling symbol)
  • Certain household cleaners, etc., that are plastic may be recycled, but they must be rinsed out well first
Please only put approved recyclable items in your recycling cart. When non-recyclable items such as clothes, yard waste and Styrofoam® are placed in the recycling cart, the MRF's contamination rate increases and the MRF's ability to recycle correct items decreases. In fact, if your recyclables are encased in black bags or mixed with trash, the good recycling will be caught up with the trash and will go to the landfill. Keeping the recycling clean allows for the maximum amount of recycled material to be recovered. Contaminants often result in malfunctions and breakdowns to the equipment at the MRF.

We enjoy serving your home with recycling collection service; please help us keep recycling a viable option by keeping non-recyclables and trash out of your recycling cart.

Check out our expanded recycling list, a recycling video to see how your materials are sorted, and stay up-to-date with happenings through our Facebook page!