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Ask the expert: WM offers tips on recycling the right way

Did you know? Today is Earth Day! It's a day to honor the planet. A time to reflect on our role and responsibility for keeping it clean. And a chance to get out and do something impactful.

One simple thing you can do this weekend, and any day really, is evaluate your recycling habits. Because according to the experts at WM

"Every time you choose to recycle, you're giving that item a second life to serve a new purpose and save natural resources. Now more than ever, it’s important that only the right items, free from contamination, make their way into your recycling bin."

So today, the Make Macomb Your Home blog is sharing some top tips on recycling from the team at WM -- including Mia Jankowiak, communications manager for the Great Lakes area, and Betty Trimper, area recycling manager. Keep reading to learn more!


1. What are the benefits of recycling?  

Recycling is perhaps the most important service WM provides to help our customers reduce emissions and environmental impact. By recycling materials, we help our customers avoid GHG emissions by preventing the mining and manufacturing of products from virgin materials. Therefore, the more we can recycle, the more materials we can keep in the circular economy and the more emissions we can avoid. 

2. What are materials that should not go in my recycle bin? 

Bagged recyclables, medical waste, batteries, foam, hoses, chemicals, shower curtains and propane canisters. More information on what is accepted and not accepted can be found via WM's recycling 101 resources.


3. What is single stream recycling? 

  1. Mixed recyclables are collected curbside by a truck.
  2. Trucks travel to a material recovery facility, where recyclables are unloaded onto a tip floor.
  3. Material is unloaded, inspected and stored until it’s ready to be transferred to a conveyor. 
  4. Sortation equipment separates cups, cans, containers and bottles from paper. An eddy current and magnets work to sort aluminum and tin cans into a metals-only stream.
  5. Sorted materials are baled and shipped to customers, where they are used as feedstock for new products. 


4. Are there recycling best practices? 

Some recycling best practices include rinsing out your bottles and cans; and keeping the caps on when placing them in your recycling bin. Additionally, WM continues to educate consumers on how to properly recycle through our Recycle Right® program.


The Make Macomb Your Home blog team would like to thank WM for their perspective on this important service. Now, get out and celebrate Earth Day, Macomb County! Every action matters when it comes to protecting our planet. So even if you simply improve your recycling practices this weekend --- you're making a difference.


Megan Ochmanek is a senior communications specialist for Macomb County Planning and Economic Devlopment.

Department:Make Macomb Your Home