What’s Wrong with this Photo?

A photo taken earlier this month at the recycling wall area raises this question:

A. Is it mixed, co-mingled recycling dumped on top of separated clean, dry, flattened, corrugated cardboard that has value; or

B. Is it clean, dry, flattened, corrugated cardboard put in with the mixed co-mingled recycling?

Either way, it misses the point of separating two streams of recycling. Separated corrugated cardboard has some value when it goes off-island, but it must not be contaminated, even with other recyclables. On the other hand, putting cardboard with some value into the co-mingled recycling is OK, but it has no value when it goes to the separation point in Woodinville, WA. There is a container just to the right of this photograph that is for clean corrugated cardboard only. All of the flattened corrugated cardboard that was dumped in this photo should have gone into the cardboard recycling container.

So, if you want to know the correct answer, it was “B”. Another point raised by the photo is that aluminum soda and beer cans can be recycled for free, but they need to be put in the stand-alone container by the separated cardboard bin. When they go into the co-mingled bin, ORS gets no value from them. Would you believe that aluminum still has recycle value to the tune of more than $1000 per ton? Help by separating your aluminum cans and depositing them in the correct container.