HR Green, a division of the Hampton Roads District Planning Commission, started “Start Smart, Recycle Right,” a program aimed to break the confusion surrounding recycling. “We’re fortunate here in Hampton Roads, our programs are still thriving,” Katie Cullipher, the team leader with Ask HR GreenCullipher said. “If we can recycle better, we can improve those programs.”

Michael Benedetto, president of TFC Recycle, said recycling is cheaper than hauling garbage. He added there are benefits to recycling aside from reusing items such as paper, plastic and metal. TFC Recycling processes recyclable items in its facility in Chesapeake that get brought in by municipal and private trucks. “So when people talk about recycling is expensive, trash is four to six times more expensive than recycling,” Benedetto explained. “It’s not creating new jobs; it’s not helping the environment.”

Benedetto said any kind of container that you can drink out of or pour down the drain can be recycled. Examples he mentioned include water bottles and laundry detergent bottles. Plastic bags, he said, should stay out of the recycling bin, “because bags can get stuck in the sorting machines.”

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Author: Julio Avila, WTKR