Green Tips – October 2018

Fremont issues new rules for recycling – at home and at church

The world of recycling is changing. Fremont homes and businesses are throwing too much garbage into their recycling bins, and it’s a big problem. Sometimes there may be confusion about what is recyclable, or even trying to do too much with the best of intentions. When we do a better job of recycling, we help the environment and avoid unnecessary processing costs that can increase our garbage bills.

Contamination is the technical term for non-recyclable materials or garbage in the recycling. New guidelines enforced by China, the world’s leading importer of recyclables require clean materials. This is a very serious issue and everyone must recycle correctly to ensure our recyclables are accepted and given a second chance for reuse.

New Rule: No plastic bags. Put them in the trash from now on. Loose bags are getting tangled in the recycling equipment, and are contaminating much of the good mixed paper. Plastic bags do more harm than good when they ruin our recyclable paper.

New Rule: Rinse bottles and jars clean. To be recycled, your containers must be empty, with no liquids or food residue. A few tablespoons of peanut butter or pasta sauce can contaminate paper, making it unrecyclable and destined for the landfill. Dirty containers go in the trash.

New Rule: Stop wishing for a miracle! The recycling program is no place for “wishful” recycling. Trying to recycle improper items and simply hoping that they’ll get recycled is hurting the success of our program. Stick to the basic items shown above.

New Rule: Food-soiled paper goes in the green organics bin. This is actually an old rule, but any waxed paper, food-contaminated paper, greasy or wet paper should be placed in the green bin for composting.

New Rule: When in doubt – throw it out! Keep it simple. Bottles, cans, jars, paper and cardboard – that’s it! These materials should be the primary items you recycle at home, work and school.

Grants offered for electric vehicle purchases

If you’ve thought about buying a hybrid or battery electric vehicle (including a used vehicle), but have found the costs to be too high, there is a grant program that might make the difference for you. You can learn about it at cleanvehiclegrants.org – things like income eligibility requirements, the types of vehicles that are eligible for $2500 and $5000 grants, and even the possibility of getting a free Level 2 charging station for your home.

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