Year after year, a high percentage of Oak Park residents make recycling a daily part of life. While this is a great habit to get into, the most common misunderstanding between the Village and its residents is what to do about the use of blue (or white, black, whatever color you like best) trash liners.
We are putting this article up today to make it as simple as possible – Don’t ever but plastic liners in Oak Park Curbside Recycling containers.
Don’t collect recyclables into bags and dispose of it within the container. Don’t put the bags alone in there. Just leave the bags completely out of it.
If Oak Park residents can stop placing single-use trash bags within recycling containers, it will significantly drive down the cost of taxes on the Village’s refuse & recycling program.
Plastic bags derail the efficiency of the recycling program because “they will end up wrapped around equipment, bringing the processing line to a halt and requiring workers to remove the bags by hand in a harrowing experience that sometimes occurs multiple times a day,” according to a news release from the Village.
The news release continues, “The bags that don’t jam up the equipment are likely to be caught within the neatly bound bundles of cardboard, bringing down their value for reuse.”
Having all of Oak Park on board with this concept will be met with challenges. Old habits are tough to break. Some people might feel strongly that they need to use plastic bags and may not want to make a change.
Let this post serve as a friendly reminder as to how we can contribute to making the recycling program more cost-effective for taxpayers.