Adapted from Laurie Dameron’s Green News

Most people know that it’s important to break down boxes before placing them in the recycle bin because, just as they do at the recycling center, they use up valuable space in your recycling bin.

However, the most common—and problematic—mistake people make in preparing their recycling for pick-up is collecting a variety of recyclables (such as paper, glass, cans, and plastics) into a plastic bag and then throwing the entire plastic bag into the recycle bin.

I’ve visited the recycle center in Boulder several times; in the guided tours, (which are very educational and free), they point out how plastic bags get caught in the machinery, causing workers to have to shut down the equipment in order to remove the bags. This costs a lot of time and money, and makes the workers have to reach inside the machine to untangle them, which puts them at risk for injury.

So, even if you initially collect your recyclables in a plastic bag, please empty that bag into your recyclable bin—and then, of course, re-use that bag for something else.

Need a laugh during C-19? Check out Laurie’s original musical response to the toilet paper shortage: The Toilet Paper Song