5 Things You Didn’t Know About Recycling in Alabama

Recycling is an economical option for disposing of waste, but each state has its own set of rules and regulations. Some products are easy to decipher like cardboard, cans, and plastic bottles, but there are a number of products that raise a few questions. We’ve compiled a list of the five things you may or may not have known were recyclable!

#1 Remove Bottle Tops

It’s hard to imagine, but we weren’t always fortunate to have bottle tops. A relatively recent invention, there was a time when this wasn’t a luxury. There is a lot of debate about the ability to recycle the plastic bottle tops because the bottle and cap are made from different grades of plastic. Fortunately, there are technological advances that make it easier to melt down both products, but because of the difference in composition, they melt at different rates. For those who live in Huntsville, any size, any color if it is plastic and it is a twist off plastic cap it can be recycled by dropping them off at any Huntsville Fire Station. There is a blue recycling cart located outside dedicated to collecting plastic bottle tops. These caps are recycled into new plastic paint containers that you will see on the shelves of Home Depot, Lowe’s and Walmart.

#2 Clean Out Your Jars and Cans

Cleaning out your jars and cans should happen before being tossed into the recycle bin. There’s a myth that if you forget to do so, the product will go into the municipal waste contradicting your original efforts. The good news is most facilities wash products before the recycling process, so even if you forgot to give your tin of tomatoes a rinse, the recycling facility would clean them for you. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t rinse everything you pop into the bin. The idea behind recycling is to be more eco-friendly and cutting down on water use at the facility will help. The state of Alabama requests all participants to rinse bottles and cans before recycling.

#3 Plastic Bag Collection

When it comes to plastic bags, it can be a bit confusing. Most cities in Alabama do not permit this item to be thrown in with the rest of the recycling. Most facilities are set-up to handle rigid materials like aluminum cans rather than soft products like carpet, clothing, or plastic bags. There are, however, many retailers who provide collection bins for plastic film, wraps, and bags. There are more than 18,000 retail locations across the country making it possible to drop off your collection on your next visit!

#4 Batteries Not Included

Alabama currently does not have a statewide battery regulations in place, which means your batteries can’t go in with your cardboard and cans, because there are separate disposal requirements. The State considers both household and car batteries hazardous materials and requires special facilities to handle them. Each community will have a designated local drop off area where you can discard the materials. Additionally, some businesses also provide Alabama residents with the option to recycle at their establishment.

#5 Electronics Are Recycled Separately

According to the EPA, Americans generate 1.6 million tons of household hazardous waste every year. On average, every home has as much as 100 pounds of household hazardous waste sitting in their basements, garages and storage closets. Most electronics like your television, mobile phone, and kitchen appliances contain potentially dangerous substances if just tossed in landfills. While these items can’t be thrown into your recycling bin, there are other methods for disposing of these items economically. The easiest way to recycle electronics is to donate working devices to community organizations. Alternatively, you can hire a waste management service to collect your electronics and dispose of them safely.

For more information and affordable waste management services, contact PBS Services Inc. and a friendly customer service representative will be happy to assist you.

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