City of Denison looking to avoid contamination in recycling

By  | 

DENISON, Tex. (KXII)- Due to a high contamination rate the city of Denison has put out a list of items that can and can't be recycled, and some folks say they will have to change their recycling habits.

"That's why I've really just been putting in cardboard from shipping boxes, there shouldn't be any problem with that," said Denison resident Roy Jackson.

Will Pettit says now he'll think twice about what he puts in his recycling bin.

"I did notice the actual list on top of the garbage can and stuff like that. I did not read it all the way through, I didn't see those certain things. I'm sure not everybody went all the way through the list," said Pettit.

Director of Community Engagement Sunny Mackey says half of Denison residents take part in the city's recycling program, and a Waste Connections Texoma representative says 40 percent of the recyclables they picked up from Denison a week ago were contaminated in some form, and had to be taken to a landfill instead of being recycled.

"Any kind of plastic bag, grocery sack, trash sacks, they get caught and tangled up in the machinery. Anything that's contaminated cardboard, so food containers or Styrofoam. They can look and see that's the majority of the load, they're not going to sort it, its too much contamination," said Mackey.

Mackey offers this advice for residents when choosing to recycle certain items.

"When in doubt, throw it out is kind of the slogan most recycling places will tell you because if you don't think its going to go, then just throw it away, you're better off throwing it away," said Mackey.

"I will be changing quite a few things. The pizza boxes, the other things that come in contact with food," said Pettit.

What can be recycled: cardboard, glass, paper, aluminum, tin.

What CAN'T be recycled: yard waste and grass, Styrofoam, plastic grocery bags, paperback or hardbound books, bathroom waste, food and candy wrappers, plate glass, light bulbs, hazardous wastes, batteries, household garbage, plastic number 6 items (disposable plates and cups, meat trays, egg cartons, carry-out containers)