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City recycling audit set

November 13, 2018

KANKAKEE — The audit to determine which Kankakee addresses are not properly sorting recycling waste is set for Nov. 26 through Dec. 7.

The audit, conducted by the city’s waste hauler, Republic Services, will be inspecting residential waste set out in alleys and terraces.

The audit will include the inspection of the materials in each recycle cart for both quality and contamination materials. If the recycle cart is deemed to be contaminated — meaning improper waste in included — a notification sticker will be placed on top of the container.

Going forward, the selected cart with the notification sticker will be serviced as trash.

“When a sticker has been placed on the recycling cart, recycling services will no longer exist at that location,” Republic Services spokesperson Ernie Lopez wrote in an email to the Journal.

In order to reduce contamination in the recycling process, all recyclables are to be empty, clean and dry before placing items in the recycle carts. Accepted recycling materials include: Plastics, metal cans, aluminum foil, cardboard, newspaper, paper containers, cartons, paper and glass.

The remains of a lime in a glass beer bottle qualifies as contaminated recycling material. Peanut butter residue in a peanut butter jar is contaminated. A greasy cardboard pizza box qualifies as contaminated.

Republic has noted a large portion of city recyclable material has been rejected by recycling centers because of improper materials being placed in the containers.

Rejected recycling material is dumped in the landfill.

In early August, Republic announced it was eliminating its curbside recycling program in Kankakee because of this problem. Instead, the company announced plans to establish recycling collection points in each of the city’s seven wards.

The city’s administration said this option violated Republic’s contract and the two sides worked out an agreement.

Both the cty of Kankakee and Republic Waste Disposal have recycling information of their websites: citykankakee-il.gov or republicservices.com.

If further assistance is need, call the city’s recycling hotline at 815-936-3615 or RecycleHotline@citykankakee-il.gov with questions or concerns.

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