2010-08-19 / News

Island recycling tips and facts

This month’s recycling question is:

Q: Why are some of my plastic containers not picked up, even though they’re marked numberone and number-two?

A: The R.I. Resource Recovery recycling plant in Johnston does not have the equipment to sort some plastic containers. The current practice is to only collect those number-one and numbertwo plastic containers that have a mouth smaller than the overall diameter of the container. All other containers should be put in the trash; all lids must also be put in the trash.

In addition, here are some recycling tips to save paper:

• Use reusable lunch bags or boxes to avoid throwing paper away every day.

• Use cloth napkins instead of paper napkins.

• Don’t take a bag with various purchases unless it’s absolutely necessary.

• Use a sponge or cloth instead of paper towels.

• Look for items that use little or no paper packaging.

• Read books, magazines and newspapers at the library instead of purchasing them.

• Use both sides of computer and note paper before recycling. This reduces both paper and ink.

Other helpful recycling tips include:

• Use reusable plastic containers for food instead of plastic bags.

• Use rechargeable batteries instead of disposable ones.

• Use plates, cups and utensils that can be washed instead of throw-away types.

• Purchase items like juice and detergent in concentrate when possible.

• Avoid buying foods in single serving packages.

• Re-use plastic drink containers for water or your favorite beverage.

• Purchase used items when possible instead of buying new items.

• Sell or donate items instead of throwing them away.

• Rent things that are used infrequently rather than buying.

• Have broken items repaired rather than buying new.

Here are a few recycling facts:

• It takes 80 to 100 years for aluminum can to decompose in a landfill. Aluminum cans can be recycled into soda cans, pie plates, license plates, thumbtacks, aluminum foil and many other items. Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to power a television for up to three hours.

• Glass takes more than one million years to decompose in a landfill. Glass can be recycled into jars, jewelry, bottles, dishes, drinking glasses, coffee mugs and many other items.

• It can take up to 700 years for plastic to decompose in a landfill. Plastic can be recycled into clothing, fiberfill for sleeping bags, toys, stuffed animals and many more items.

Information courtesy of the Jamestown Recycling Committee.

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