Recycle Properly

by blackspanielgallery

Recycling works as long as it is profitable, but lack of cooperation with the process can cause it to go away.

While recycling is important, it is also important to recycle properly. In Louisiana we currently have recycling in some areas. However, two large areas are about to lose the privilege of having curbside recycling.

The areas are New Orleans and a major suburb of New Orleans. But why?

There are two problems mentioned in the news. One is that the recycling plant is having difficulty selling the recycled items. That is something we cannot control. But the other is that people are not recycling properly. And that is about to cost the entire area curbside recycling. Some people seem to not care about the rules, and those people are causing a problem for the handling of the recycled articles.

What Are People Doing to Have Caused the Elimination of Recycling?

Before the program began, we had recycling at one location for the suburb.  People could bring items for recycling, and those people would actually get paid.  The amount of money was small for plastic, but newspapers and aluminum cans had some value.  Some people would pick up discarded cans from parks and alongside highways just for the value of the aluminum.  Others would drive through the area on the days when garbage would be picked up and collect newspapers that were bundled and left atop cans.  These people actually did services of clearing litter and relieving the landfills.


Now we have curbside pickup.  Unfortunately, too many people are tossing items into recycle bins that cannot be accepted.  These items must be removed at the recycle plant, and they must then be loaded on a second truck to be hauled to the landfill.  This is an expensive process, and wastes fuel.

Problem Items

When the service started there was a list of what could be sent to the recycle plant, and that list was not all inclusive.  Some items like glass and plastic bags, even bags with the recycle triangle, are not allowed.  Yes, glass is recyclable, but not in the program.


The problem is this list is now on a website, but not advertised well.  So, perhaps those new to the area, or those who recently decided to recycle, have no idea that there are unwanted items. 


The problem is even greater than some glass and bags.  I have taken walks and observed in some recycle bins things like broken vacuum cleaners.  Large items like this are left behind, but the small crews cannot pick out Styrofoam, glass, and plastic bags.  And some garbage is tossed into the bins as well.


It Was Easy

Recycling before curbside pickup required sorting, since each kind of item had a different value.  The bins did not.  Everything went into the same truck and mixed, so sorting was a futile process.


I have often wondered about the labor involved in getting plastic bottles out of small food boxes.  I must believe this added to the expense, which now poses an end to recycling in the area.

Corporate Interference

The local newspapers, and there are two that do this, throw papers when the ads are present even to those who do not subscribe to the papers.  People often toss these still bagged papers into recycle bins.  These unwanted papers are delivered to boost circulation, thus allowing for higher prices to be charged for ads.  But the plastic bags must be removed at the recycling plant if the paper is to be used.


This practice of throwing unwanted papers causes another problem.  The unwanted papers too often end up in drains, and they thus contribute to water in the streets after heavy rains.

The Consequences

First, when the program ends much of the currently recycled items will be sent to the landfills.  Another consequence is that energy will be expended on items which could have been made more efficiently using recycled materials.  Trees will be required in greater numbers to replace the paper and cardboard currently being used to make new paper products.  Petroleum will be used in place of the plastics that are currently being used for new plastic products or for asphalt.  Power plants will work harder at refining aluminum from ore rather than melting empty cans.


This article contains links to affiliate programs and Adsense advertising.  These must use cookies to allow for proper crediting. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


The introduction image in public domain, and derived using a NASA image.  The product is on Zazzle, and is our own. 



Updated: 05/16/2019, blackspanielgallery
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blackspanielgallery on 05/23/2019

It could go back to bringing sorted items in, or it could be replaced by re-purpose where possible, which is actually better if it can be done. Here, the future of recycling is bleak in its current form. It is the victim of human behavior.

DerdriuMarriner on 05/23/2019

blackspanielgallery, Thank you for the practicalities and products. Particularly what with the economic impacts (of recyclers having to sort out misplaced items and transport them to landfills), what do you think is the future of recycling?

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