Let’s Recycle the Right Way; How Apopka Recycles

Think twice before throwing items in your home recycling bin. So-called “unacceptable waste” can have a big impact on the costs of Apopka’s solid waste collection system.

More and more unrecyclable materials are showing up in city curbside collections, according to officials with the City’s Public Services Department. Some customers are even using their recycling containers to dispose of toxic materials like oil and chemicals – a violation of federal and state environmental laws.

Occasionally, these non-recyclables force entire truckloads of collected waste to be refused at regional processing centers. Then the city must go to a landfill and pay to dump recyclables that originally were intended to reduce disposal costs and minimize the amount of garbage filling up landfills.

Your  recycling choices are very important to the success of Apopka’s solid waste program. In fact, rising disposal costs eventually could force the city to raise residential collection fees. Apopka currently charges $16 a month – among the lowest rates in Central Florida – for garbage, recycling and yard waste / bulk collections.

Proper recycling helps to save money and save the environment.

Here’s how:

  • Among the most important things to remember: Do not put hazardous household waste in city recycling bins such as toxic or flammable chemicals, computers or televisions. Although some of these items can be recycled, residents should take them to a special disposal and recycling facility.
  • Orange County government operates a household hazardous waste program with a permanent drop-off location available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays at 5000 L.B. McLeod Road west of Orlando.
  • A nearby collection event is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 17 at Apopka High School on Martin Street in Apopka. For more information call (407) 836-6601 or visit the website at www.ocfl.net/HHW.
  • Do not put plastic shopping bags in your curbside recycling, and do not bundle recyclables in plastic bags. Bags can catch on mechanical sorters and slow the recycling process. It is best to gather up your plastic bags and return them to the grocery store, which recycles the bags as a separate bulk item.
  • Do not recycle plastic hoses or tubing, toys or structural plastic. Don’t recycle Styrofoam and packing foam—clean these materials out of shipping boxes prior to recycling.

Here are other items to avoid:

  • Window or sheet glass
  • Ceramics
  • Light bulbs
  • Food contaminated paper such as greasy pizza boxes or fast-food wrappers.
  • Photos and hard-cover books
  • Appliances, metal pipes or automotive parts

The City of Apopka may refuse to collect curbside bins with noticeable unrecyclable materials. Too many unrecyclable materials in the collection cycle also will be turned away at regional processing centers.

  • Make sure to recycle correct materials such as plastics. Look for plastic containers with a recycling number one through seven stamped on the bottom.
  • Recycle metals like aluminum drink cans and foil, metal food containers or jar lids. Glass bottle and food containers are ideal. Wash out containers before disposing them.
  • Paper products include many food-related recyclables such as milk, juice and ice cream cartons, wine and juice drink boxes. Paper board includes cereal boxes and paper towel/ toilet tissue rolls.
  • Newspaper, magazines, paper bags and old mail are easy recyclables. Be sure to flatten, cut or fold large cardboard boxes to fit inside the collection cart. Do not recycle wet cardboard that can clog recycling sort machines.

Participation in recycling is important. Americans create 254 million tons of trash a year. About 34 percent is recycled.

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