This Morning: Are you recycling? You might be doing it wrong

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It’s a sure sign of spring time when “Recycle Rama” returns to Ingham County.

Greater Lansing’s largest 1-day recycling event will take place this Saturday at the Ingham County Health Department on South Cedar street from 9AM-2PM.

With Earth day fast approaching, it’s a good time to remember if you are recycling what’s accepted and if you’re not, how to get involved.

Tossing any used item into a recycling bin thinking it can be recycled is easy, but is it really helping or hurting?

Environmental Specialist with Capital Area Recycling and Trash, Lori Welch talks about contamination.

“It increases the cost to process and a lot of communities now are struggling now trying to educate their residents and trying to figure out how they’re going to cover this cost as the industry sort of fixes this problem,” says Welch.

Welch says limits on recyclables sold to China and more people throwing trash in recycling bins have caused some cities to stop recycling programs all together.

Fortunately, here in mid-Michigan she says that’s not the case just yet.. but hopes people will start paying attention.

“We get everything from garden hoses to window blinds to any kind of plastic you can think of. All the way down to smaller things like plastic straws and spoons and none of that is recyclable in our program,” says Welch.

Welch says these items along with plastic bags, wire hangers, and old batteries don’t just cost Lansing taxpayers money to fix but in large amounts can turn entire loads of otherwise recyclable materials into trash.

So what should go in the city of Lansing’s bins?

Items like office paper, paper bags, glass bottles, and cereal boxes.

Click here for more information on what can and cannot be recycled in Lansing.

When done right, she says it can help reduce pollution, contribute to clean water, and reduce reliance on landfills.

Click here for more information on what can and cannot be recycled in East Lansing.

“A tin can can power a tv for for over 3 hours with the energy savings that it takes that you get from recycling that can. So if we each do our part, it definitely contributes to that,” says Welch.

Click here to learn about dropping off at MSU Recycling Center.

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