Just because someone believes something is recyclable doesn’t mean it is. Ray’s Trash General Manager Calvin Davidson encourages Westfield residents to educate themselves on recycling guidelines before tossing random containers into the recycling bin.
Ray’s Trash is the city’s trash and recycling service.
Davidson encourages recycling because Ray’s Trash is a non-landfill company, which means it has to pay to take trash to the landfill.
“Every ton we have to take to the landfill costs us money,” Davidson said. “We always think and are mindful on how do we reduce this. It saves us money.”
Recycling is one way to keep trash from going to the landfill, but many items people believe to be recyclable actually aren’t, such as Styrofoam containers. Davidson said residents should, when possible, recycle clean containers.
“We don’t expect folks to rinse them out, but make sure residue isn’t there,” he said. “Because if it’s a full, half-full or even a little-full product, go ahead and throw it away if you can’t get it (the residue) out of there.”
Foam egg cartons aren’t recyclable but paper or cardboard egg cartons are, Davidson said. Pizza boxes are recyclable as long as the box isn’t overly saturated with grease and doesn’t have food inside.
Sometimes, people believe an item is recyclable if it is emblazoned with the recycling symbol. However, Davidson said designation could mean the item is made from recycled materials and isn’t actually recyclable itself.
Plastic bags from grocery stores, which Davidson calls “urban tumbleweeds,” also are problematic because they blow out of the recycling bin or out of the truck. Davidson said the easiest way to recycle grocery bags is to return them to their original store for reuse.
The easiest way to know what Ray’s Trash accepts for recycling is to visit its website to read the guidelines. For more, visit raystrash.com/our-services/recycling/.