The Tompkins County Recycling and Materials Management office announced this week that starting Nov. 1 residents who put out recycling bins and set-outs that do not follow the county guidelines will receive rejection stickers and be left at the curb uncollected. The county says that they hope the measure will ensure that Tompkins to produces clean, high quality recyclables with low contamination that don’t get rejected by recycling markets.

“We’d like to thank residents for doing their part to be informed about recycling and taking steps to make sure their bins can be collected,” said Seth Dennis, waste reduction and recycling specialist. “Together we can make sure recycling continues to be a success in our community.”

According to TCRMM, some of the most common mistakes residents make include putting plastic bags and film, Styrofoam electronics, and garbage in the recycling bin. Any plastic items must include a number 1, 2, or 5 recycling symbol to be accepted.

The new rejection sticker enforcement comes after a year of the “warning” phase during which recycling set outs that received warning stickers for incorrect recycling decreased from an initial high of 720 to less than 300 per collection period.

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Author: Anna Lamb, The Ithaca Voice