Orange County Solid Waste to leave notes on resident's recycling habits

Wrong items put in recycling cost $100 million a year in Florida

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A curbside pilot program is launching in one neighborhood to improve the quality of recycling in Orange County.

Workers demonstrated the program on Wednesday, which will take place over a six-week period in the Park Manor subdivision.

"What we want to do here in Orange County is help our residents recycle the right way," Solid Waste Manager David Gregory said.

Starting Thursday, workers will look inside recycling carts at each of the 641 homes and leave weekly cards with feedback.

"Wrong materials being put in recycling carts increases the costs of recycling over $100 million a year just in one state," Gregory said.

Some of the biggest offenders are greasy pizza boxes and plastic bags. Bins with those items and other nonrecyclable materials will be left behind with a tag telling the household what was wrong.

"One of the challenges is folks wish-cycle," Gregory said. "They wish this material was recycling, but it's not one of the five materials that belong in the recycling cart."

The materials approved for recycling are plastic, metal, glass, cardboard and paper.

Residents who meet the requirements will come home to a note of encouragement and an empty recycling bin.

Orange County leaders said they will review the results of the program at the end of the six-week period and consider expanding it to other neighborhoods in the county.

For a list of what can and can't be recycled, visit www.ocfl.net/recycles.

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