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Recycle style: What's acceptable for local recycling

FARGO-Earth Day may be today, but a really green day happens in three months when Fargo and Moorhead begin single-sort recycling.The move makes it easier for FM residents to recycle and encourages them to reprocess more material.While things like...

Detail of compacted aluminum cans are stacked at MinnKota Recycling in downtown Fargo. Forum file photo
Detail of compacted aluminum cans are stacked at MinnKota Recycling in downtown Fargo. Forum file photo

FARGO-Earth Day may be today, but a really green day happens in three months when Fargo and Moorhead begin single-sort recycling.

The move makes it easier for FM residents to recycle and encourages them to reprocess more material.

While things like junk mail and pizza boxes will be added to the list of recyclable items when single-sort starts in July, not all things will be acceptable.

"The biggest concern I have when we're transitioning from a source-separated to a single-stream (system) is contamination," says Mary Aldrich, sales manager at MinnKota Enviroservices, Inc., which receives all of the material picked up for recycling. "I'm worried that people will discard unacceptable items in the recycling bins which can create a significant problem for us. People should know what they can do and please don't place items in there if you question the recyclability of it."

What can be recycled now

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Cardboard

  • Flattened corrugated cardboard boxes, brown grocery bags, unwaxed beverage containers, shoe boxes, cereal and food boxes, and paperboard.

Glass

  • Clear, brown and green glass bottles and jars.

Metal

  • Aluminum, steel and tin cans

Paper

  • Newspaper, shoppers and anything that is delivered in the newspaper, including glossy inserts. Magazines, small catalogs and similar printed material with glossy pages.

Plastic

  • All containers with a recycling symbol ♲ ♻ ♺ of 1-7 such as soda bottles, milk containers, detergent and shampoo bottles, but no bottle caps, yogurt and cottage cheese containers, ice cream pails, margarine tubs and vegetable containers.

What additional items can be recycled with single-sort?

  • Milk cartons, juice containers, office paper, phone books, junk mail and pizza boxes

What will still be unacceptable for recycling with single-sort?

  • Egg cartons, scrap metal, razor blades, tin foil, nails, rusty cans, aerosol cans, Styrofoam, beverage cups, trays or fast food containers. Motor oil or antifreeze bottles, plastic bags, shrink wrap, film, toys, ceramics, Pyrex, window glass, light bulbs, waxed boxes or boxes that come from the refrigerator or the freezer and plastic bags.

Not all recyclable materials will be picked up with the new single-sort system, but some items can be dropped off for recycling.

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  • While plastic grocery bags can't be recycled by MinnKota, other companies will pick up plastic grocery bags, dry cleaning bags and clean bread bags. There are more than a dozen drop spots in Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo area, including Hornbacher's Targets and Wal-Marts, according to the site: www.plasticfilmrecycling.org.
  • Shredded paper can't go out on the curb, but you can drop it off at the MinnKota Recycling Processing Facility, 430 7th St., N., Fargo.

Related Topics: ENVIRONMENT
For 20 years John Lamb has covered art, entertainment and lifestyle stories in the area for The Forum.
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