Recycle Right with Laurie Duncan

A Better You

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — You may recycle. But do you recycle right? Turns out there’s a lot to learn about recycling, especially the different types of plastics, how they are made and how they are recycled.

It may all sound overwhelming, but don’t worry, Laurie Duncan, the education outreach coordinator in the Sustainability Division of the Springfield’s Environmental Services is here to help us out with some tips. 

Laurie’s Notes: 

· Plastics are not all the same. The numbers on plastic items, #1-7, help to identify the chemical formula used to make the various types of plastics. A lower number indicates a simpler chemical formula and type of plastic that is easier to recycle. A higher number indicates a more complex and “more challenging to recycle” type of plastic.

To recycle plastic right, there are some things we can be doing, whether you use city facilities or curbside recycling:

1. Check to make sure there’s a number – unnumbered plastics shouldn’t go into a bin.

2. City facilities currently accept plastics 1-7. Curbside recycling may not accept everything, so check with your hauler for what specific types of plastics you can put into your curbside bin.

3. Clean it up! While it doesn’t have to be run through the dishwasher, definitely make sure any leftover liquid or food is removed before putting into a recycling bin.

4. Just because an item is plastic, doesn’t mean it can be recycled. Plastics that should never go into a recycling bin include plastic bags, plastic wrap, plastic baggies, plastic straws, plastic lids from drink cups or coffee cups.

5. And a never ever type of plastic to put into the bin – styrofoam! Styrofoam containers such as “to go” boxes from leftover meal, egg cartons, drink cup, etc.

For more info from the Environmental Services, click here. 

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