Since 1997, Americans across the country have marked Nov. 15 as a day dedicated to recycling. Some people recycle to save money on garbage disposal costs, others because it is “the right thing to do” while others just know it as a part of life; breathe in, breathe out, recycle. No matter what the motivation, you are joining with millions of Americans to save money, save resources, reduce waste and reuse materials.
This past spring, recycling plastics in Cass County became easier than ever. Now you can put all of your household plastic containers, bottles, tubs, and lids, No. 1 thru 7, into the county recycling bins. This means that margarine tubs, syrup bottles, ice cream pails, yogurt cups, and those plastic “clam shells” that hold deli and bakery goods can join milk jugs and the pop, water and laundry bottles in the recycling bins.
Of course, there are always exceptions, still a few plastics that cannot go in the recycling, these include; plastic bags and films (Saran wrap), plastic cups and utensils, motor oil, and pesticide containers and all forms of Styrofoam.
Cass County is able to accept many more plastics than in past years since the materials collected in those brown or white recycling bins now are taken to a company named, Recycle America, located in Minneapolis. This company recently expanded their facility infrastructure to allow single stream recycling, where many different recyclable materials can be sorted through the combined efforts of magnets, disk screens, tumblers, and advanced optical sorters which can identify different types of plastic resins.
Not only is this good for recycling, but it might help alleviate a major source of domestic contention regarding just exactly what can go into the recycling bins and what cannot. It might even help reduce eyestrain caused by trying to find the tiny little number in the tiny little triangle on the bottom of the shampoo bottle.
Cass County also recycles one of the fastest growing waste streams in the country, “E-Waste”, which is the solid waste category name for your “dead “ TVs , cell phones, computers and computer –related electronics.
Cass County residents may bring their “E-Waste” at no charge to any of the three county operated transfer sites. These include; the Main Transfer Station located two miles north of Pine River on State Hwy. 371, the Walker-Hackensack Transfer Site located two and a half miles north of Hackensack, and the May Township Transfer Site located north of Pillager at the county highway garage on County Hwy. 34.
E-waste may also be taken to Slagle’s transfer site near Longville for a fee and to the Leech Lake Transfer Station at Cass Lake at no cost to tribal members.
Celebrate America Recycles Day on Nov. 15 and all yearlong as you do your part to recycle your glass, plastic and metal containers, your paper and cardboard and those unusable or unwanted TVs, Computers and other electronics.
• Did you know that every year we produce enough plastic film in this country to shrink-wrap Texas? Or that Americans discard 38 billion plastic water bottles every year? While plastic offers the advantages of being flexible and lightweight, it also consumes fossil resources for its manufacture and contributes waste in our environment.
• Glass is endlessly recyclable, and most glass bottles and jars produced in the United States now contain at least 25 percent recycled glass – which also requires 75 percent less energy to produce than glass made from new materials.
• Does that plastic lunch container still have yesterday’s pizza in it? Don’t recycle it until it’s clean!
• One dirty product, or one with food waste still in it, can contaminate an entire bale, containing hundreds of pounds of collected plastics.
• This can cause thousands of recyclable items to go to a landfill instead of being recycled.
• Cleanliness is essential.
For information check out the county website www.co.cass.mn.us, where you will find the quick link to the Solid Waste and Recycling brochure, or call 218-547-7287.