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Plastic Bags Are Gumming Up Waukesha Recycling Effort: City


City officials say one out of every five things Waukesha residents are recycling is actually trash, and it’s becoming a big problem.

Officials in Waukesha say that one out of every five items area residents are throwing in recycling bins is actually trash — and it’s causing trouble at recycling processing centers. It’s also causing the city to lose out on hundreds of thousands of recycling dollars, officials say.

“The problem seems to be getting worse over time and it’s getting more and more expensive over time,” said Dustin Nolan, City of Waukesha’s Recycling and Solid Waste Coordinator in a WTMJ report. Nolan said the worst culprits are those plastic bags you get at places like the supermarket.

“Recycling contamination is becoming a large problem with many items being placed in the recycling bin that are not recyclable. Please remember to keep it simple when it comes to recycling and follow the attached recycling guide,” City of Waukesha officials said this week.

Items that you can recycle:

  • Cans: aluminum and steel
  • Cartons: food and beverage cartons
  • Glass: bottles and jars
  • Paper: cereal boxes, newspapers, magazines, mail, flattened cardboard and paper tubes
  • Plastic: bottles and containers from your kitchen, laundry or bath.
Items that cannot be recycled:
  • Appliances
  • Bagged Recyclables
  • Batteries
  • Car Parts (Brake Rotors, etc.)
  • Ceramics
  • Chains
  • Christmas Trees or Lights
  • Clothing
  • Construction Debris
  • Cords
  • Cups (Paper or Styrofoam)
  • Diapers
  • Drinking Glasses or Mugs
  • Food
  • Garbage
  • Garden Pots or Trays
  • Hangers
  • Hard Cover Books
  • Helium Cylinders or Tanks
  • Hoses
  • Liquids
  • Light Bulbs
  • Loose Caps and Lids
  • Medical Waste & Medication
  • Motor Oil Bottles
  • Needles, Sharps, Syringes
  • Paint or Paint Cans
  • Paper Ice Cream Containers
  • Jan. 2019
  • Paper Plates or Cups
  • Plastic Bags, Wrap, Film
  • Plastic Utencils
  • Propane Cylinders or Tanks
  • Scrap Metal
  • Styrofoam
  • Take Out Packaging or Containers
  • Tires
  • Tissue Paper
  • Toys
  • Window Glass or Mirrors
  • Wires
  • Wood
  • Yard Waste or Compost

This article was originally published on

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