April 22nd, 2020 3:21 PM
By Aqua Environmental Specialist Krista Scheirer
Today marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and the environmental movement that saw the passage of key legislation to protect our water, land, air and wildlife. This is a perfect time to reflect on Aqua's progress as an environmentally minded company, as well as the impacts we make in our daily lives. While we cannot be together this year to celebrate or participate in a Ripple Effect volunteer event, there are many ways to mark the occasion.
Recycle for our planet and to help fight COVID-19
Recycling is an important practice for the sustainability of our environment. It saves raw materials like trees, reduces water and energy consumption, and it minimizes landfill space. Recycling is also beneficial for our economy, providing materials for manufacturing and reducing disposal costs. Many of the items flying off shelves to combat the COVID-19 pandemic are made from recycled materials, and manufacturers need us to recycle correctly now more than ever.
It’s important that we all do our part to keep the stream of recyclables flowing, and that requires using proper recycling practices to reduce contamination. If a dumpster or truckload of recyclables contains non-recyclable items or food residue, the entire batch may be treated as trash instead.
Recycle often, Recycle right
Earth Day is a great time to review proper recycling steps to practice at home and at work. A few tips include:
- Check with your recycling provider to see what can and cannot be recycled. Each location may be different, so if you are unsure, it is best to ask or take your recyclables home. As a general rule, you should not include latex materials, cloth, foam products, disposable paper products, medical waste, construction debris, electronic waste, loose bottle caps, or cords/hoses.
- Most single-stream recyclers do not accept plastic bags, so you should keep your recyclables loose and not in a trash bag. You can recycle plastic shopping bags at some grocery stores.
- Rinse and dry empty containers. Food, residue, or liquids can contaminate an entire batch.
- Flatten cardboard and paperboard, and do not include packing materials.
- When in doubt, throw it out. It is better to trash a potentially recyclable item than to risk spoiling an entire batch.
For more details, visit Waste Management’s Recycling 101 website. For information on how to recycle other items, check out Earth911.com.
Aqua Environmental Specialist Krista Scheirer.