STILLWATER, Okla. — Make it count
Recently we had a simple recycling question that could not be answered by city of Stillwater or Allied Waste:
Is the recycled materials citizens take to recycling centers going to landfill because of contamination?
There are two people operating recycling centers in Stillwater: The city runs the manned Convenience Collection Centers, and Allied Waste - aka HEW - operates the unmanned centers.
The city of Stillwater assures me that any recycling taken to the manned CCC is being properly sorted. Sorting involves employees removing improperly submitted materials. Cans, glass and plastic with labels or lids on or the wrong types of plastic are removed from the properly submitted recycleables. Anything that still has a label or lid, wrong code, etc., will contamintate the batch and has to be removed and taken to landfill.
The unmanned sites, operated by Allied Waste, have signs stating what types of recycleables are allowed. Since the sites are unmanned, there is no one to make sure only properly sorted materials are being put into the bins. Thus the bins are always full of trash, bags of mixed materials, materials with labels on, etc. I have never been to any of the HEW sites and found them to be uncontaminated. The signs at these centers state that this will be taken to landfill.
Is anything dropped off at Allied Waste getting recycled? It sounds as if it’s all going to landfill because other people aren't aware or taking the time to sort and remove labels, resulting in the entire container being contaminated and going to landfill.
I tried to contact Allied Waste, aka HEW, at the number on the signs, 405-377-3880 and got an answering center in Indiana where no one can answer, much less even tell me who to ask in Stillwater.
The city of Stillwater also does not know who to contact at the unmanned sites to get clarification, although one woman in the Waste Management Department did think that any collection containers containing contaminated materials were going to landfill.
I just wanted to let the people of Stillwater know that when you take the time to properly recycle and drop off at the Allied Waste sites it’s likely going to end up in landfill. Take it to the CCC center instead.