Larry Picard: Recycling at home still works |

Larry Picard: Recycling at home still works

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Larry Picard

I am writing to clarify some issues regarding recycling in Nevada County that were raised by Dodie Johnston in a column published on Sept. 12.

I’d like to set the record straight: If you are recycling right, your materials are being processed and given a second life. Nothing is being stored. Materials are collected, sorted and in almost all instances sent within the United States to end users that turn your recyclables into new products. (Paper and cardboard are two recyclable materials that are generally sent to paper mills outside of the country for processing.)

It’s true there have been changes in the recycling market in the last several years, but as the largest recycler in North America, Waste Management continues to find markets for your recyclable materials. One of the main differences between today and five years ago is a lack of market tolerance for dirty materials and contaminants. If you follow the recycling rules, the materials are being recycled.

What are those rules?

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Recycle all bottles, cans, paper, cardboard and jars. (Please empty bottles, cans and jars. Keep paper and cardboard dry and breakdown cardboard).

Never recycle plastic bags or plastic films, such as the air bags you frequently receive in a package. These items can be taken to some grocery stores or big box chains for recycling.

Always keep your recyclables loose in your cart. If you collected recyclables in a bag, empty the bag’s contents into your recycling cart.

Keep bottles, jars, cans and containers free of liquid and food.

Please don’t stop recycling. It’s important that we continue to divert materials from the landfill and recycle those that can be made into new products. Your efforts at your home are not going to waste.

For more information about recycling, please visit Thank you.

Larry Picard is a 28-year-long Waste Management employee who has served as district manager in Nevada County since January 2019. He began his career in accounting and has held numerous leadership positions for Waste Management operations throughout Northern California.

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