The Charlotte, N.C.-based recycling firm said with the alert that recycling load contamination is hurting worker safety and material value, according to a news release.
“Unacceptable items – such as garden hoses, plastic grocery bags, diapers, needles and other medical waste, propane tanks, yard and food waste – expose industry employees to unsafe working conditions, lower productivity, increase disposal costs and reduce end-market material quality,” said Jeff Fielkow, ReCommunity chief sales and marketing officer. “Just a half-percent of contamination in a 20-ton load decreases the value of the entire load.”
Fielkow said it is an industry-wide issue. Even though single-stream has proven to be effective, education is key with all methods to improving recycling behavior.
“Without the industry ramping up its efforts to improve load quality and reduce safety issues, the economics will force everyone to assess fees or reduce revenue-share with our partners for handling contaminated loads,” Fielkow said.
The Inbound Quality Alert aims to educate community partners. “Together, the industry, with all of our partners, can improve the quality of the recycling stream and optimize the value for the entire recycling supply-chain,” he said.