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♻️ Recycling Contamination at All-Time High

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City of Tampa Solid Waste Department Educating Residents about Proper Recycling on National Recycling Day

The City of Tampa's Solid Waste Department is dealing with an all-time high of contaminated recycling loads. National Recycling Day is Tuesday, November 15 and the recycling team is working to educate the public about the importance of proper recycling.

"In the last 12 months, City of Tampa residents and businesses have recycled over 3.6 million pounds of material," according to Shelby Lewis, Recycling Coordinator. "Now, we are hoping to grow that number even more with additional knowledge and awareness on recycling the right way. Contamination risks the sustainability and success of the recycling program."


Reminding residents that only the items listed as accepted in the program are truly recyclable is a top priority. Contaminants are items that are not accepted in the recycling program and turn your recycling into nothing more than trash. There are many types of recycling contamination, including plastic, food waste, and more. Some contaminants are worse than others and most are easily avoidable 


Contamination can be ‘wishcycling’, which is the idea that someone wishes it could be recyclable, so they place it in the bin. Contamination can also happen when items are placed in the bin with liquid or food residue, or using the recycling cart as an overflow trash receptacle. 

The City of Tampa Solid Waste Department understands the challenges consumers face with a mixed message and endless products on the market.

To help ease the burden of knowing where every item may go, the Department launched the Tampa Trash & Recycling app. This is a one-stop shop to know how to get rid of any item using the waste sort feature, taking the guesswork out of proper recycling and disposal. It also includes a collection calendar for single-family homes serviced by the Department.

Residents serviced by the City are encouraged to download the app on their smart devices or visit our website, tampa.gov/recycle for more information.