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Plastic Recycling (Detail)

Only Plastic Bottles & Jugs are Recyclable
The Following Plastic Items Are Recyclable:

Soft Drink
Water Bottle
Milk Jug
Dish Soap
Laundry Bottle
Salad Dressing

The Following Items Are Not Recyclable:
Wide-Mouth Tubs or Jars

Yogurt Tubs

Cottage Cheese Tubs
Plastic Peanut Butter Jars
Plastic Cups or Bowls
Caps or Lids

A different process is used to make bottles and jugs than is used to make tubs jars and other containers. The recycling facility that our materials go to can only process bottles and jugs.

Why can some other Communities Recycle all plastic containers?
The material we generate from our recycling program is used to make high value products. That means that our program makes money for our product where other programs may not. More importantly the markets for our material are more secure and there is less chance that we will have to landfill material that is collected or stop collecting it in poor economic times like now.

What are our Recyclables made into?
Most of the soda and water bottles and other clear plastic bottles are made mostly into rugs. These bottles are made out of a type of plastic that is very similar to poyester. The milk jugs and other translucent plastic is made mostly into degerent bottles.

Some plastic items other than bottles and jugs can be recycled in the community
Plastic shopping bags can be returned to Hannaford and Price Chopper Supermarkets, and Wal-Mart Stores. Ask at the office of your local supermarket if they recycle plastic bags and where their plastic bag recycling bin is located. Packaging pellets can be returned to shipping centers like MailBoxes Etc.

Buying recycled is the key to successful recycling
In order to make recycling work, buying recycled is even more important than putting things out for recycling. When you buy non-food items in plastic containers, look to see if the container is made with recycled plastic. The more post consumer content, the better. Post-consumer content means that it was made with plastic from community recycling programs. Some containers that are made of recycled plastic include laundry detergent jugs and other non-food-containing colored #2 bottles.

What are plastic bottles made into?
Clear plastic bottles like soda and water bottles are made into a variety of products such as carpets, video cassettes, filling for fleece jackets and quilts, and some shirts. Translucent and colored plastic bottles like milk and detergent bottles are made into plant pots, car parts, toys and drainage pipes.

Reducing is better than recycling
Buying in bulk (buying things in larger containers) reduces the amount of plastic packaging that is put in the environment in the first place. Bring your own bags to the store. Many supermarkets will give you a discount if you pack in your own bags and some will charge you up to ten cents per bag to supply them for you.

What do those #s in the recycling arrows mean?
Just because there are recycling arrows on a package does not mean that it is recyclable. The plastic industry uses the chasing arrows symbol simply to call attention to the number inside the arrows. The number is a code for the type of plastic that the package is made of. You may have heard that all #1s and #2s are recyclable. In Schenectady County, only bottles and jugs are acceptable whether they are #1 or #2s or not. Tubs and jars that are #1 or #2 are not acceptable.

For Further Information Contact:
Jeff Edwards - Recycling Coordinator
Schenectady County Dept. of Economic Development and Planning
Schaffer Heights, Suite 303
Schenectady NY 12308
Phone 386-2225
Fax 382-5539

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