The reasons have nothing to do with whether the material is recyclable or not.
SPOKANE, Wash. – The city of Spokane is asking residents to stop putting lids and plugs with their other recyclables.
There are three main reasons the City won’t accept them, but that has nothing to do with whether the material is recyclable or not, according to the City’s Facebook post.
One of the main reasons is security. The City explains that the small plastic caps can be dangerous for workers and equipment during their treatment and the sorting center.
In addition, plastic bottles with caps that compress, trap air inside the bottle. As a result, the cork ejects from the bottle, creating projectiles that could injure employees.
Another important reason is contamination in the treatment facility. Flat lids, whether plastic or metal, tend to be sorted into paper bales.
Since many items are sorted by shape, flat, lightweight lids end up having paper contaminating these balls and reducing their market value.
The last main reason is that plastic and metal bottle caps end up in the trash anyway. Since they are small, they can fall through cracks in processing equipment in sorting facilities and end up in the trash.
Residents of Spokane County produce between 800 and 1,300 tons of solid waste each day and divert only 45% of their waste through recycling or composting, according to the City of Spokane website.
The collected recyclables are transported to a facility owned and operated by the private company Waste Management, where they are sorted, processed and prepared for marketing.