Going behind-the-scenes at Recology for America Recycles Day

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Recycling might seem second nature to most these days. Yet, Recology wishes to remind residents about the importance of it.

“It’s an opportunity and it also makes you feel good. And people are really into it,” Recology spokesperson Robert Reed said. “It helps save water. It helps save trees, other resources. Aluminum cans can be recycled again and again. So it’s good for everyone.”

Here at the facility, workers sort the recycling by hand, separating out paper, aluminum, glass, and plastic.

But it’s not always easy, when people bag their recyclables.

“As you saw on the sort line, there’s not a lot of time for the recycling workers – it goes by them really quickly – we don’t have time to open up bags to see and open it up and empty it out on the sort line,” general manager Linda Wise said. “We don’t want to open bags because we don’t know what’s in it because it could be something that could contaminate the system down the line.

An uptick in “wishful recycling” has also been seen throughout Humboldt.

“Please don’t just put something wishing that it’s gonna get recycled,” Reed said. “Far better to get the real answer. With our smartphones and all the technology, you can look up what’s recyclable in seconds at recology.com or whatbin.com.”

Recycling seems to go hand and hand with zero waste initiatives.

Recology wants you to focus on reusable items rather than continue using single-use items.

“We do public events here to try and foster the idea of zero waste and help people be aware of other habits that we have with reducing our waste, reuse, and recycling happening toward the bottom of that,” Wise said. “But to be mindful of what we are and what are habits are with creating a zero waste culture.”

And that culture is what Recology hopes everyone takes away on America Recycles Day.

“Let’s take a moment when we are tossing something away to make sure that we get it in the recycling bin. The bottles, the cans, the paper,” Reed said. “Let’s make sure that those bottles are empty. That’s what America Recycles Day is all about: getting things recycled, getting things in the bin, taking a moment to get it right.”