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No, all acceptable recyclables can be collected and placed in your recycling bin commingled together, this is as known as single-stream recycling. Just be sure to keep all those recyclable materials loose in your bin. If you collect recyclables in plastic or paper bags in your home, be sure to empty all the recyclables out of those bags when you place them into collection bin that your waste hauler picks up.
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Just because packaging contains an image or statement that the product may be recyclable in your area doesn’t mean that you can recycle it in Lake County. What it means is the product or packaging is made for materials that are recyclable, but the key is whether there is a market for that material. In most cases the biggest confusion is found with plastics. Just because a plastic has a recycling symbol embossed on it, it may be a plastic that has little or no value to a recycling business. The best thing to do is review the Lake County Recycling Guidelines page to lean what materials are acceptable for recycling in Lake County and then try to only use products that are made of the types of materials that can be collected for recycling.
The practice of placing your personal shredded documents into a brown paper bag and including that bag in with your recycling is acceptable here in Lake County as the Material Recovery Facility (MRF) that your recyclables are sorted at agrees to accept shredded paper in this form. However, all current day MRF’s are highly automated system that, in their current configurations, do no not effectively recover loose shredded paper. The best assurance for your shredded paper to be recycled is for you to place it in a craft paper bag such as a paper grocery bag. Seal the bag of shredded paper closed by folding, rolling, stapling or taping it and then place it in your recycling cart. Do not put shredded paper in a plastic bag. At the MRF, plastic bags of shredded paper are immediately pulled from the other recyclables and sent to the landfill. Also, please be selective with what you shred. Shred only paper that contains sensitive information such as social security, bank account or credit card numbers. You might also want to consider collecting your documents and bringing them to a shredding event hosted by a local bank or municipal group, or take your documents to local business that provides document shredding for a fee. Paper shredding events and services that collect and shred paper send their shredded paper directly to a paper mill for recycling, it will never go through a MRF that processes traditional non-shredded papers, plastics, bottles and cans. For more information about local businesses in Lake County that offer shredding service please visit the Where Do I Recycle This? search tool on the swalco.org web site.
Plastic bags or wrap: i.e. grocery bags; newspaper bags; bread bags; produce bags; zip lock bags; toilet paper, napkin and paper towel wrap; case wrap; diaper wrap; dry cleaning bags; plastic retail bags; bubble wrap; air pillows, electronic wrap; furniture wrap as well as Tyvek and other plastic shipping bags or envelopes should NOT be placed in your recycling bin. Instead, please visit our Plastic Film and Bags page on the SWALCO.org website. This page was created to provide information about local drop offs for your use!
Please visit: http://www.swalco.org/294/Plastic-Film-Bags
Never put hangers (metal or plastic), hoses, wire, cords, cables, ropes, chain, clothing, textiles and shoes in your recycling bin. They get tangled up in the sorting machines causing costly downtime and will never be recycled. Garden hoses are typically made from PVC or vinyl and ARE NOT recyclable - Garden Hoses are regular trash items UNLESS they can be reused. In that case, contact your local donation facility to see if they are accepted.
At this time, Lake County municipal curbside recycling programs are not accepting #6 PS plastics, known as polystyrene. It comes in two forms, expanded foam (usually white and commonly called Styrofoam) and rigid (usually opaque, colored or clear). The expanded foam plastic is mostly air, often coated with food contaminants, and can cost up to 300% more than other commodities to recycle due to its lightweight nature, lack of market competition and high transportation costs. Lake County does have a drop off location for recycling of #6 polystyrene located at the City of Highland Park Recycling Center.
See the SWALCO’s Where Do I Recycle This directory for more information on other locations that accept #6 polystyrene plastics.
DO NOT place Styrofoam, polystyrene plastics: i.e. foam cups; foam to go containers; foam meat trays; foam egg cartons; foam coolers; foam product packaging or foam packing peanuts in your recycling.
Never put hangers (metal or plastic), hoses, wire, cords, cables, ropes, chain, clothing, textiles and shoes in your recycling bin. They get tangled up in the sorting machines causing costly downtime and may never be recycled. Contact your local donation facility to see if they are accepted or a local dry cleaner (mainly for metal ones).
Materials collected from municipal curbside programs will be taken to a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), sorted into several categories or grades, each grade is baled and then sold to a manufacturer who will make new products from the materials. Watch how recyclables are sorted at the Waste Management Lake County Sorting facility