Off the Hill: Town of Vail offers recycling tips for the holidays (video) | VailDaily.com

Off the Hill: Town of Vail offers recycling tips for the holidays (video)

While cleaning up after opening presents this holiday season, take a moment to think about where this trash will go.

Wrapping paper, tissue paper, ribbons, etc., are not recyclable and shouldn’t be put in recycling bins. “Even though people might think of wrapping paper as paper that can be recycled it has a lot of additives,” said Mark Hoblitzell, environmental sustainability coordinator with the Town of Vail.

If you’re grabbing some caffeine to keep you going this holiday season, just know that paper-based coffee cups are usually lined with a membrane of polyethylene (plastic) to make them waterproof, but that means they are not recyclable alongside paper or cardboard, so those cups should be placed in a regular garbage can.

How about that carton of eggnog? Trash it. It’s aseptic packaging deems it ineligible for Vail’s recycling bins, which are located at 75 South Frontage Road in Vail.

The journey much of your recyclables takes is pretty amazing. The Eagle County Landfill near Wolcott, CO houses the Materials Recovery Facility where recyclables are separated from each other in a highly technical manner. With the use of staff, optic, and magnetic mechanisms, items are sorted into the correct bins. A “puff” of air blasts out plastics and a series of magnets pulls out the different metals. The goal is to have less than 10% contamination present in the final sorted and prepped product.

Hoblitzell said that the Town of Vail’s recycling rate is 27.8%, which is slightly above Eagle County’s recycling rate of 26.9% and well above Colorado’s recycling rate of 11%. But it still has some room to grow to reach or surpass the national recycling rate of 34%.

Some of the biggest contaminants are film plastics, plastic bags, coffee cups and Styrofoam. Despite having a number, Styrofoam is not recyclable in our community.

People can visit http://www.lovevail.org to learn about town recycling and other sustainability efforts.