Orange County residents, including Horizon West, is failing at our curbside recycling program. According to an investigation by WFTV meteorologist George Waldenburger, up to 25% of items put into the blue recycling bins are not actually recyclable. Since Orange County uses a single-stream recycling system, and residents replace the “sorting” of recyclable material, if it’s not done correctly at the curb, it goes straight to the landfill.
Things such as plastic bags and aluminum foil, items that may be marketed as recyclable, are not accepted into the Orange County system. Plastic bags are one of the leading containments in the recycling program and can quickly cause an entire truckload to be sent to the landfill.
Here are some tips for recycling; only include plastic bottles or containers # 1-5, metal cans, tin cans, aluminum cans, glass bottles or jars, or clean and dry cardboard and paper.
Any item that is not clean or has any food residue, CANNOT be recycled. These include pizza boxes, and plastic food container #1-5 that has any amount of food residue, and metal or aluminum from other types of products. For example, to-go food containers from a restaurant can be recycled if it is #1-5, but ONLY after it has been cleaned, rinsed, and is dry. If that container contains any food contamination, it is not recyclable.
Orange County has launched a comprehensive website to help residents determine if an item can be recycled. Visit the What Goes Where webpage to lookup an item.
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