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Officials urge community members to recycle the right way

Posted: 12:45 PM, Jul 11, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-11 14:12:58-04

Milwaukee, WI - Are you recycling the right products?

If not, it could cost you and thousands of taxpayers almost half a million dollars.

Now, the city of Milwaukee and Waukesha County are urging people to “recycle right” and improve the quality of recycled materials coming into the City of Milwaukee and Waukesha County Materials Recovery Facility (MRF).

“The more we put in those bins, the more we reduce the landfill, but we want to do it the right way," Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow said. "We want to recycle right."

That’s why County Exec. Farrow and Mayor Tom Barret have partnered to push this message.

When people try to recycle the wrong things it reduces efficiency at the facility, wasting taxpayer dollars and sometimes even creating dangerous working conditions for employees.

“Know what’s acceptable in your community, make sure those materials are empty clean and dry,” Recycling Services, Inc. Vice President of Recycling and Sustainability Pete Keller said.

Cans, cartons, glass, paper and plastic are all good to go, but scrap metal, plastic bags, hazards like batteries, garbage and hoses and wires just can’t be recycled in curbside bins.

How you recycle at home also has a global impact in China and Indonesia.

“Two of our largest export partners, places where we would send tons and tons and tons of recycling, are saying either one, we don’t want it or it better be a lot [purer],” Mayor Barrett said.

As a result, some U.S. Cities are considering opting out of recycling altogether, but Mayor Barret and County Executive Farrow are instead encouraging people to do it right.