No ash in the trash!
Waste Management provides summer tips to keep hot barbecue coals out of the trash and contaminants out of the recycling containers.
Waste Management of New Mexico has some advice on safely disposing of barbecue coals and ashes, as well as tips for keeping sticky snacks and freshly cut grass from ruining your recyclables.
Coals or ashes fresh from the barbecue should never be put directly into your collection container. They should instead be cooled for several days and then placed in a metal container with a tight lid for proper disposal. To speed up the cooling process, you may carefully place coals in a metal container full of water to "drown" them like you would a campfire. Never place them in plastic, paper or wood containers.
"Just as those coals helped to get the fire started in your barbecue, they can also start a fire in your trash container or, once emptied into the back of one of our trucks, ignite the materials around it," said Calvin Ivy, Market Area Manager of Waste Management of New Mexico. "Coals that appear to be cooled can still start a fire in the bin or collection truck and create an unsafe situation for you, your neighbors and our employees. Remember that coals can stay hot for days after you have finished using them."
Non-recyclable materials should never be placed in the recycling cart because they "contaminate" the recyclables. A contaminated cart requires double sorting to remove the unacceptable items. If the trash is not removed before it goes to the processing plant, it can contaminate the whole load or damage expensive machinery used to separate recyclables.
"Trash contamination in household recyclables defeats the goals of our recycling programs, which include protecting the environment by conserving landfill space and helping to conserve natural resources," said Ivy. "It also requires additional time, resources and money to address and resolve the contamination, making it more of a challenge to deliver efficient, cost-effective services."
Here are number of tips to help you keep up with your recycling:
- Keep a separate container just for recyclables in a convenient place, such as the kitchen, laundry room or backyard. Make sure a separate container for trash is easily accessible for kids enjoying ice cream treats, art projects or water balloon fights.
- When entertaining, be sure to provide a convenient receptacle where your guests can place their plastic, glass or aluminum beverage containers.
- Make sure recyclable bottles, cans or containers touched by sticky hands or filled with food are rinsed before placing them in your recycling cart or bin
- Consider crushing aluminum cans to help save space while storing them.
"We appreciate our customers' continued partnership in helping to keep our community clean and preserving our natural resources by recycling," said Calvin Ivy. "We also know summer is a fun and busy time, and we hope these simple tips will help to keep recycling a priority."
Waste Management is the leading provider of comprehensive waste and environmental services in North America. For more information about how we think green, log onto NewMexico.WM.com