A Republic Waste Services recycling center. Photo via Republic Waste Services
Now that Kent City Council has hired Republic Services for recycling pickup, residents will need to abide by strict rules about what should go in the bins.
Republic’s media reps ask people not to be “wish-cyclers” — that is, don’t just toss in what you wish they would recycle. Only recycle empty, clean, dry plastic bottles, jugs and tubs; metal food and beverage containers; paper, cardboard, glass bottles and glass jars. Paper and cardboard that has been “soiled” with food or liquid must be diverted to the trash bin.
“When in doubt, throw it out,” Republic officials say, specifying that if customers are unsure if something can be recycled, “throwing it in the recycling bin could do more harm than good.”
Newspaper, clean paper containers, envelopes, office paper, common and junk mail, phone books, brochures, magazines: all dry and unsoiled.
Ream wrappers, file folders, poster board, frozen food boxes, flattened cardboard boxes, milk and juice cartons, the cardboard lids from to-go cups: all dry and unsoiled.
Water bottles, take-out containers marked with a #1 or #2 recycling symbol, single-use plastic cups and their plastic lids, soda bottles (lids included); the plastic lids from paper to-go cups, disposable utensils made of potato or cornstarch.
Republic’s website states that recyclables should always be placed loose inside the bins, not in plastic containers or bags. All recyclables should be free of food and liquid.
Non-recyclable items include pizza boxes, plastic disposable silverware, aluminum foil, styrofoam or polystyrene take out containers, coated paper containers, straws, aerosol cans, batteries, clothing, food waste, napkins, mirrors, ceramics, plastic bags, shredded paper, stickers or address labels, tissue, Styrofoam, paper cups, tools, toys, construction waste, paper towels, glass windows, or Pyrex.
Republic also will not accept lithium batteries, incandescent light bulbs, fluorescent tubes, computers and electronics, needles or syringes, hazardous waste, paint, toxic material containers, or yard waste.
Republic plans to start delivering its recycling carts the week of June 19. It’s to be determined when recycling pickups will actually begin, but service will be the same day as customers’ trash pickup, only on a biweekly as opposed to weekly schedule.
Lest people think that recycling goes to the same landfills trash does, Republic reps say the items are collected by separate trucks and are transported to entirely different facilities. In Kent’s case, the recycling facility is the same one that is currently sorting city residents’ recyclables.
Republic encourages residents to sign up for the company’s app or create an online account for easy access to billing and service information. Billing will be sent out on a quarterly basis.