First, let’s look at why recycling contamination matters. When too many dirty items—or too many of the wrong items—get into a recycling bin, the entire load may need to be thrown away.
That’s because recycling companies will not buy a contaminated load from Lake County. Sometimes our Recycling Center staff checks a load, thinks it is fine, and takes it to Denver to sell it. When they arrive at the Denver processing plant, they learn that the load has too many contaminated items hidden inside. Then the load must be thrown away—and the processing charges Lake County a fee.
The cost to gather recyclables from Lake County’s three recycling sites, bale them, drive them to Denver, and pay a fee comes to approximately $1,000 per load.
When you recycle with care, you’re saving the county money, time, and effort, supporting the sustainability of our recycling program. As important, you’re also helping ensure that all our recyclables get recycled.
Diapers and needles should always go in the trash—never in the recycling bins. When dirty, they are a biohazard, and when clean, they do not contain the right kind of plastic for recycling.
Lake County has found these items in its recycling bins before, and so have other communities. Please help us spread the word that diapers and needles should always be put in the trash. Remember, keep it pure!