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Waste Pro and the City of Ocala to Implement New System to Reduce Contamination in Residential Recycling

Post Date:05/23/2017 2:52 PM
OCALA, Fla. (May 23, 2017) –  Effective Monday, June 5, Waste Pro, the City of Ocala’s contractor for single-stream curbside recycling collection, will begin a coordinated effort with the City to reduce contamination in residential recycling carts. 

Waste Pro will begin checking residential recycling carts and marking them with yellow tags if they contain non-recyclable waste. For those carts found to contain non-recyclable waste, a yellow tag will be placed on the cart along with a letter, which will further explain the reason for the notice and will provide a reminder of accepted recyclable items. Each day, Waste Pro will submit a list of residents or homeowners who received a yellow tag to the City of Ocala for tracking. If a residence receives a second yellow tag, a City representative will visit the residence to help explain ways the resident can help reduce contamination in their recycling cart. 

Residents are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the City of Ocala’s list of accepted recyclable items and only place acceptable items in their residential recycling cart. These efforts are being made to help educate residents and to keep recycling collection costs from becoming even more expensive due to contamination by depositing non-recyclable items. 

“Contamination occurs when items that are not recyclable are mixed with items that are,” said Darren Park, Director of Public Works for the City of Ocala. “This can be as simple as placing non-recyclable items like Styrofoam or clothing in your residential recycling cart, or as extreme as placing food waste or liquids in your cart, which makes items like cardboard and paper unable to be recycled. One of our main goals is to reduce, or eliminate, contamination and improve the overall quality of our recyclable items. Failure to lower our contamination rate will increase the cost of the collection system for our residents as contamination requires special handling and lowers the value of all other recyclables.”

In July 2017, Waste Pro will examine the amount of contaminated waste in the total amount of recyclables collected. The percent that is not recyclable will establish the contamination rate. Once that rate is determined, the City will pay additional expenses for the disposal of any contaminated recycling exceeding ten percent until the contamination rate falls below ten percent.  

The City of Ocala Residential Sanitation Department appreciates residents’ attention to this notice and their efforts to dispose of their waste in accordance with the City’s guidelines. 
Any City of Ocala resident who wishes to not participate in the recycling program should contact the Residential Sanitation Department at 352-351-6697 to have their recycling cart returned to the City. No adjustment rate will be made for not participating in the recycling program, as the City-wide expense remains the same. 

For more information, please contact the City of Ocala Residential Sanitation Department at 352-351-6697 or visit www.ocalafl.org/recycle.

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