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Recycling

Exploring the three Rs of waste management — Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

In order to keep as much material out of the landfill as possible, it’s important for each of us to do our part. One of the ways to put that plan into action is through the 3 Rs of waste management — Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

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Master Recycler program empowers waste prevention ambassadors.

Are you passionate about preventing waste, increasing recycling, conserving natural resources and making a difference right here in our area? If so, you should consider becoming a Jackson County Master Recycler. Our volunteer team of waste prevention ambassadors work within their communities to cultivate public awareness and support a variety of projects and programs related to recycling. As a master recycler, you will share your knowledge and motivate others to make resource conservation a way of life.

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The mess with mixed paper.

The recycling world has changed. Most of the paper and paperboard (cereal boxes, shoes boxes, paper towel tubes) we used to take at the curb is now considered a contaminant when mixed with other materials. According to the processors who sort and sell the materials to mills and overseas markets, unsorted paper (a mix of paper products that includes office paper, junk mail, cereal/shoe/cracker boxes, paper towel/toilet tubes) is no longer wanted by China — the world’s main market for this material. And U.S. markets for unsorted paper are virtually non-existent. This means that since January 1st of 2018, there haven’t been adequate markets here or abroad for mixed paper. So it’s stacking up all over the globe.

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Slowing the flow of unwanted mail.

Every time you fill out a product warranty card, purchase a new home or car, supply your credit card information to a lender, open a credit card or give the clerk at a retail store your name and address, odds are your name goes onto a mailing list. Some companies use that list solely for themselves. Others sell their lists to other companies… who, in turn, can sell their lists to other companies. Before you know it, you’re getting catalogs, credit card offers, sales letters, postcards and more — all from companies hungry for your business.

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Keeping contaminants out of the recycling stream.

If you’ve heard anything about recycling lately, odds are you’ve heard the term “contaminants.” But what exactly is recycling contamination? Why is it a big deal? And how does it impact recycling here in our area?

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