Recycling has become part of everyday life, but the paper goods, cans, bottles and other materials placed in our bins or carts need to meet specifications. The buyers of recyclables have begun to reject the materials causing a dramatic decline in the value of materials. Effective July 2018, the City of Coral Springs has entered into a new contract for recyclable material processing that includes penalties for excessive contamination. We want to ensure our residents and businesses better understand why these changes are in place, as well as how we can work together to make “RECYCLING RIGHT” in Coral Springs.
Where do recycled materials go?
After collection, our recyclables are processed to group similar materials (cardboard, newsprint, aluminum cans and various plastics) and shipped to USA based and overseas mills. China emerged as the main market and robust pricing helped drive the expansion of programs. However, quality of materials became more important, causing a downward spiral in the market. Since January 2018, China will no longer accept foreign waste – stating that it is over contaminated. This has caused U.S. recycling companies to adjust processing contracts - requiring customers to pay higher fees without guaranteed revenue.
What is our current contamination level?
30% contamination rate for Coral Springs
What do these changes mean for Coral Springs?
Under our new processing contract, there is a 10% threshold for contamination. If we are unable to reach that goal, the City will be financially penalized.
How will we accomplish this goal?
Follow the list of materials that are depicted on the recycling cart lid. No pizza boxes, garbage, plastic bags, electronics or yard waste.
How will we know how the City is doing?
Loads will be sampled at the processing facility and City staff will track the results of post “contamination” percentages. We ask that residents submit photos of themselves “recycling right” to firstname.lastname@example.org (please include your name and contact information).