Contamination occurs when garbage and non-recyclable materials are placed in the recycling carts with good recycling materials. Contamination increases the cost of processing recyclables, undermines the good habits of those who practice proper recycling, and limits the ability of the recyclables to be made into new products. Loads of recycled materials must be taken to the landfill if there are too many contaminants.
The top 5 contaminants in the City of Roanoke are:
- Plastic bags (this includes bagging your recyclables)
- Tanglers (things like cords and hoses)
- Wet waste (things like food, diapers, and liquids)
- Metal and electronics