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City sharing spring cleaning tips in advance of the May long weekend

With the long weekend coming up and more residents completing home and yard improvements, the City is sharing some recycling tips when it comes to spring cleaning

Gardening and planting

Residents are reminded that yard waste is not accepted in the green bin and to place all yard waste, including fallen fruit, garden waste, grass clippings and leaves in a brown paper yard waste bag or an open top rigid reusable container marked with a yard waste sticker. Rocks, sod and soil are not accepted in the yard waste program. Black plastic plant pots and trays are not recyclable. Some garden centers or nurseries will take them back if in good condition; if not, please place these in the garbage.

Spring cleaning

Residents looking to complete some spring cleaning this weekend are reminded that household hazardous waste such as chemicals, leftover paint and oils, should be taken to a Community Recycling Centre for safe disposal. Household items like batteries, pots and pans, and propane cylinders do not belong in the blue box; these items can be taken to a Community Recycling Centre for free.

Additionally, to help residents better understand their recycling responsibilities, the City is sharing some of the most common mistakes and questions about recycling.

Blue box sorting

In Hamilton, we have a “two-stream” recycling program – one box for containers (bottles, cans, cartons and jars) and a second separate box for paper and cardboard. Cross-contamination is the biggest challenge the City experiences when collecting recycling materials. Residents are reminded that if they order takeout, they should ensure that they properly sort recycling and waste materials by placing paper bags in the paper box, clear plastic containers in the container box, paper take out containers in the green bin and black plastic, plastic cutlery, straws and styrofoam in the garbage.

Plastic film Most plastic film is not recyclable. This includes bubble wrap, cereal bags, pet food bags, plastic / bubble envelopes, soil or fertilizer bags and Ziploc bags. Dispose of these non-recycling films in the garbage. Plastic films that are recyclable include bread bags, grocery bags and outer milk bags. During the sorting process these bags cling to and hide other recyclable materials. Residents are asked to bag their bags, tie shut and place inside their containers blue box.

Paper products Many residents put paper products in the blue box when they belong in the green bin. Examples of paper that should go in the green bin include greasy pizza boxes, paper napkins, paper plates, paper towels and paper take out containers.

Dirty recyclables Plastic and glass containers that once held food such as ketchup and mustard should be rinsed before being recycled. Cardboard boxes that have food stuck in them or are greasy from pizza, should go in the green bin.

Improving the diversion rate and increasing participation in recycling programs is an important initiative at the City of Hamilton. Recycling that is not properly sorted cannot be collected and will be tagged with an Oops sticker. To learn more about what can and can’t be recycled, residents can download the Recycle Coach App or visit the City of Hamilton’s Recycling and Waste Facebook page for tips.

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