Recycling: why, how, where, when and what

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How to recycle?

How to recycle?

Pinal County –  Most of us have seen them around the Copper Corridor: the big blue dumpsters that are reserved for materials that can and should be recycled. Surprisingly few have a clear understanding of what to do with them, so as to help the environment without getting a reprimand or fine, however, and, many of us remain confused as to why they are even needed.

  Recycling helps alleviate the negative impact of consumer societies on the natural environment. When the waste by-products of our lifestyles are dumped into landfill sites where they are simply left to break down in the sun or covered over, a few very bad things happen.

  Modern life brings modern joys, including lighter weight materials that are more cost-effective so that more people can afford some simple joys of life, such as a stereo, a television, furnishings, jewelry, pans and so much more. These materials can save us time, expense, the lives of animals in the case of fleece versus fur for winter warmth, but, the cost of all the good they do is the bad that results when the items made up from them are no longer of use and must be disposed of.

  Harmful greenhouse gasses and dangerous chemicals are released to leech out into the soil or pollute the air, in a way that would not happen with natural materials. Recycling helps to reduce this sort of pollution. It also helps alleviate another potential problem, which is the sheer volume of waste materials produced.

  According to a brochure available online from Eco-Cycle at www.ecocycle.org  nearly 90% of what we throw away could potentially be recovered through reuse, recycling or composting. Engaging in recycling can save resources, prevent pollution, support public health and create jobs.

  There are many ways of recycling, by personal choice. Many artists and artisans use old magazines, clothing, broken jewelry, and much else to create new works of art or household goods. Of course, much can be donated to thrift shops to be resold, Free Cycle and Craig’s List  are options to help divest yourself of items that you are not sure what to do with.  Repair is often an option. When it comes to recycling that goes on outside of the big blue can, the sky’s the limit. What goes on inside the big blue can involves a little more following of rules, and, for good reason. 

  Remember all those new jobs mentioned? Well, with new jobs come new paychecks. This is good news for those who are job seekers, but, not such great news for those who are wondering why the cost for trash removal and certain landfill sites are what they are.  So, how do we get the costs down and keep them down? Primarily, by the effective sorting of trash into recyclable and non-recyclable materials, so that it takes less time for the workers at the other end of the equation to do what they need to do to help the environment.

  There are recycling centers open to the public, approximately 12,000 of them nation-wide, for those who do not have the big blue can or who have recycling needs that exceed the volume it is capable of holding. For the towns of the Copper Corridor: Dudleyville, Kearny, Mammoth, Oracle and San Manuel, one place to go is the Oracle Transfer Station, 2100 E. Transfer Station Road in Oracle on Monday  through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  This station is also open every second and fourth Saturday from 9 a.m. through noon.For other locations, visit http://bit.ly/2bx5zQU. this is also a good site for accessing phone numbers to ask questions when in doubt on recycling issues.

  In some towns, there is a big blue recycling bin, instead of or in addition to the big blue cans. Pinal County Recycling bins are available Monday through Friday, from 6:30 a.m.  through 2 p.m.  Regardless of whether you are using bin, can or transporting recycling materials to a station,there are things you should and must not submit for recycling. These can vary from place to place and year to year, depending on budgets and capabilities of different stations. Below is a list of what can and cannot be recycled by official recycling stations of Pinal County:

Items Accepted

Cans: aluminum, tin or steel;  Bottles: plastic or glass, including jars; Paper: news, printer, junk mail, magazines, shredded, phone books; Cardboard boxes: food, detergent, cereal; Plastics: 1-7, including bottles and milk jugs.

Items NOT Accepted

Hazardous materials: Paint, oils, batteries, electronics; Organics: tree limbs, grass clippings, household trash, food waste; Scrap materials: large pieces of glass, mirrors, windows, furniture, stoves

  Follow these guidelines and you’ll truly be helping make the world a better place. Happy recycling!

Staff (4202 Posts)

There are news or informational items frequently written by staff or submitted to the Copper Basin News, San Manuel Miner, Superior Sun, Pinal Nugget or Oracle Towne Crier for inclusion in our print or digital products. These items are not credited with an author.


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