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Elgin, Ill., Drastically Cuts Recycling Contamination Rate

Rumpke Conducts Recycling Audits in Ohio Communities
In 2016, Elgin became the first municipality in the Chicago area to join Waste Management’s “Recycle Often. Recycle Right.” program.

Elgin, Ill., has dropped its recycling contamination rate to around 16 percent from 40 percent two years ago. Elgin officials explained that although residents are doing well when it comes to recycling properly, they will have to become more vigilant amid changes in the recycling market.

The town has a contract with Waste Management, and in 2016, Elgin became the first municipality in the Chicago area to join the company’s “Recycle Often. Recycle Right.” contamination reduction program.

The Courier-News has more details:

Elgin residents are doing very well when it comes to putting the right things into their recycling bins, but changes in the market for recyclable materials mean people will have to be even more vigilant, officials say.

The contamination rate for recyclables collected in Elgin has dropped from 40 percent two years ago to about 16 percent now, meaning companies that use recyclables to make other items have been rejecting a lot less, said Jennifer Phillips, manager for Elgin 311 Citizen Services.

But because companies are being a lot more selective in what they accept, the pressure to make sure the rights items are going into the curbside bins is only going to increase.

Read the full article here.

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