Navigating the do’s and don’ts of recycling

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Recycling toppled over dumpsters at Normandy Park Monday morning.

The City of Jacksonville’s 14 recycling drop-off locations officially opened Monday, but it appears residents got a head start over the weekend.

When we noticed what was inside and around the bins, it became apparent some people were throwing just about anything away.

“Anything that’s bagged in a plastic bag is immediately going to get taken off the line and sent to the landfill,” Beaches Go Green founder Anne Marie Moquin said.

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One of the biggest mistakes people make when recycling is putting their items in a plastic bag.

“The plastic bags pose a hazard risk, safety risk for the line workers,” Moquin said.

Line workers will not open the bags and empty the items for you.

“The sorting line goes by fairly quickly and they’re not going to open it up to double check it. You never know what they’re going to find in that bag so they just pull it off and send it to the landfill,” Moquin said.

You can recycle paper, metal, plastics, cartons and glass. All recyclables need to be clean, empty and dry. Any product contaminated with food cannot be recycled.

LIST: Drop-off recycling sites in Duval, Clay and St. Johns counties

If you aren’t sure about whether an item can be recycled, city officials say “when in doubt, throw it out.”

“Just because something has a recycling symbol doesn’t mean it’s recyclable in your curbside bin,” Moquin said.

City officials and environmentalists want you to think twice before bringing your recyclables to the drop-off locations.