Q. I noticed the janitorial staff here pouring my recyclables into the regular trash; can you explain how they sort our materials?
A. We hear this frequently. Balcones Resources takes pride in the training that we provide to all janitorial staffs. Although mistakes may happen, here are a few reasons to explain this issue:
- The janitorial staff may use the "double bag" collection method. This means that there are actually dual bags inside of their cart, and although it may appear that all of the materials are going into the trash, it is being separated.
- There may have been a food item in the recycle bin that prompted the trained janitorial staff to follow our protocol and keep those items out of the recycling stream.
- Keep in mind that we only get compensated if there is a strong recycling stream present in the building. We monitor all waste streams to make sure the recycling levels are consistent. If there is a decline in the tonnage or notable contaminated materials present regularly, we are onsite to conduct additional training.
- If you still have concerns that anyone at your facility is abusing the recycling program, please notify your property or facilities manager for resolution.
Q. Are used pizza boxes accepted?
A. No. Here's why: Food is one of the worst contaminants in the paper recycling process. Grease and oil are not as big of a problem for plastic, metal and glass, as those materials are recycled using a heat process. But when paper products, like cardboard, are recycled, they are mixed with water and turned into slurry. Since we all know water and oil don't mix, the issue is clear. Grease from pizza boxes causes oil to form at the top of the slurry, and paper fibers cannot separate from oils during the pulping process. Essentially, this contaminant causes the entire batch to be ruined.
Q. Can I leave the lids on plastic bottles?
A. Yes. The lids to plastic bottles are made of different grades of plastic than the bottle itself. These are recyclable and are removed through a flotation method during the recycling process.
Q. Do you have to rinse out your aluminum cans?
A. No. Water conservation is at the forefront of everyone's mind now. The cans are actually rinsed during the recycling process. Cans should be emptied prior to tossing in the recycle container.
Q. Are plastic grocery bags accepted?
A. No. The good news: Most plastic bags can be accepted separately if you're willing to take them to a drop-off location. To find plastic bag drop-off sites in your area, go to plasticbagrecycling.org.
Q. How do I find out what to do with hard-to-recycle items?
A. Ask you property or facility manager for assistance. Balcones currently accepts e-waste (computers, cell phones, anything with a plug or battery) through centralized collection methods. We are here to help and have several contacts that can assist you in recycling items.
Q. Do you accept Styrofoam or packing peanuts?
A. No. For a processing facility near you please visit timetorecycle.com.
Q. If something is made from recycled paper or plastic, can it be recycled again?
A. Yes. While it's true that recycling paper and plastic over and over will degrade the quality, that doesn't mean you can't recycle it. Many recycled products contain a percentage of both virgin and post-consumer recycled content
Q. Do you accept toner cartridges?
A. No. Please contact the toner cartridge company directly or donate them at: recycle4charity.com.
Do you have a question about recycling, accepted materials, our procedures, etc?
Please feel free to submit your questions to us, and we'll do our best to point you in the right direction. You can email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.