Recycling 101: Acceptable and non-acceptable

HOUGHTON — The Copper Country Recycling Initiative (CCRI) wants to remind the public that plastic shopping bags are not acceptable in the curbside recycling programs.

A number of minor problems have surfaced in the program, the responsibility for which lies with all parties involved, according to CCRI members. Waste Management and Eagle Waste have complained of the quality of items in recycling bins, but has not informed the public.

The governments of the cities of Houghton and Hancock have not added statements to utility and tax bills, CCRI members have said, and many residents participating in the program have not educated themselves on what is acceptable and not acceptable to put in recycling bins.

Ruth Gleckler of the CCRI said she has contacted Waste Management in regard to signs for the bins stating plastic shopping bags, and was told they “are waiting for a ‘bulk’ order for all WM places.”

Krissy Sundstrom, another member of the CCRI, said that while recycling program participants want to follow the guidelines, many do not have time to study the lists of what acceptable and what isn’t for recycling.

The lists are posted on the websites of both the cities of Houghton and Hancock.

Both acceptable and non-acceptable items are posted on the websites. The most common items which are not accepted are:

• plastic bags

• packing foam and peanuts

• pizza boxes

• used paper food products plates, cups, etc.

• paper towels, napkins or tissue paper

• metal spiral or plastic ring binders

While plastic shopping bags are not acceptable for the curbside program, Pat’s Foods and Wal-Mart both have dropoff boxes for recycling plastic shopping bags.