WM encourages recycling to support manufacturers during pandemic

WM encourages recycling to support manufacturers during pandemic

Company says that during COVID-19 pandemic, "recyclables are needed more than ever."

Facial tissues, toilet paper, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes have been flying off store shelves, while families are spending more hours at home to stay healthy and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Waste Management, Houston, is calling on everyone to Recycle Right during this time when recyclables are needed for manufacturing more than ever.

Recycling is vitally important to the environment, and it has come to play a critical role in certain manufacturing supply chains, the company notes. Without recyclables collected from homes and businesses, Waste Management says its customers that produce products such as tissue, toweling and packaging boxes for groceries and medical supplies would not have the raw materials that they need to manufacture these items.

“Most recyclers don’t think about the importance of placing their clean recyclable materials in their bins, but now it is more important than ever as recyclable products are playing a critical role for key manufacturing businesses,” Waste Management Vice President of Recycling Brent Bell says. “Across North America, people are generating more household garbage and recyclable materials than usual, and manufacturers are in need of more clean recyclable materials to meet their demands for making basic goods and emergency supplies. We can all do our part by recycling right during these challenging times.” 

According to Waste Management, recycling best practices include recycling only clean, dry and loose material such as:
  • cardboard (without inside packing materials);
  • paper products, including newspapers, junk mail and office and school paper;
  • paperboard, such as cereal and cracker boxes;
  • plastic bottles and jugs; and
  • steel, tin and aluminum cans.
 The following materials should be thrown in the trash, according to the company:
  • plastic, latex and cloth disposable gloves;
  • disposable masks;
  • liquid soap and hand sanitizer bottles that contain residue;
  • disinfectant wipes;
  • facial tissues, napkins and paper towels;
  • disposable plates, cups and cutlery;
  • takeout containers; 
  • leftover food and liquids;
  • plastic bags and plastic film wrap; and
  • hoses, cords, polystyrene foam and other packaging.
In addition to Waste Management, several industry organizations have weighed in calling for increased recycling to meet the needed demand during this time, including the American Forest and Paper Association, the Association of Plastic Recyclers, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries and The Recycling Partnership.