Monday, June 21, 2010

Public Service Announcement

This was a big topic recently in our library and I meant to write it up, but completely forgot about it. You're about to see the wonderful things we discuss in the break room. One of our technicians recently started collecting plastic bottles to recycle (I think she's donating them somewhere). And I happened to notice that everyone was throwing their bottles in the bin with the lid attached, which is pretty much a no-no. That's a different kind of plastic than the bottle, and enough of them in a batch of melting plastic can change the chemistry enough that the entire batch has to be thrown away. Bottom line: Those bottles saved from the landfill? Probably ended up there anyway. And of course, I wasn't believed, so I had to do research. Yay for research! And because I firmly believe in getting as much mileage as possible out of my paltry skills (Seriously: Googleing "bottle recycling remove caps" doesn't take much of a feat of intelligence skills), I present to you the evidence I collected: From Mother Nature Network:
"Bottles and caps are made from different types of plastic, so even if they are both recycled, they generally most be separated first...You can probably improve the chances of the bottle—and possibly the cap, but at least the bottle—getting recycled if you take off the cap. This also allows the bottle to dry out ome."
From Eco-cycle:
Q. Do I need to take the caps and lids off plastic containers before I recycle them? Can the caps be recycled as well? A. Remove the caps and lids from all plastic bottles and jugs (and tubs) before recycling the containers. Plastic caps have a different melting point than other recyclable plastics and will contaminate the load. Throw away or find a creative way to reuse plastic caps—they make great paint or glue holders for small projects. Q. Do I need to remove the plastic ring that is left around the neck of a plastic bottle when I remove the cap? A. No, you do not need to remove it. The recycling center is allowed a minimal amount of “contamination” in our materials to account for things like the plastic ring and the label on the product.
And Earth 911 has 2 helpful things here: 1) How to recycle those lids, and 2) a handy list of which lids are included in that program, which will also pretty much tell you what lids to keep out of your recycling bin. So. My good deed for the day is finished. I need a librarian cape or something.

1 comment:

NGS said...

Aveda has a program that allows schools to recycle caps. You might want to see if there's a way to donate the caps to a local school.