Tips in Tampa: Recycling the right way for National Recycling Day

With National Recycling Day on November 15th, the City of Tampa Solid Waste Department is shining a light on the problem of recycling contamination and sharing tips on recycling the right way.

City officials say businesses and residents have recycled more than 3.6 million pounds of material over the last 12 months. That’s the good news. The bad news is that Tampa is also dealing with its highest-ever number of contaminated recycling loads, which cannot be recycled because of the presence of liquid residue, food waste, certain plastics or some other material. 

“Contamination risks the sustainability and success of the recycling program," Tampa recycling coordinator Shelby Lewis says in a press release.

Lewis and the Solid Waste Department offer some tips on “recycling the right way,” starting with a reminder to stick to the items listed as acceptable under the city’s program. Here are some other pointers:

Avoid “wishcycling”

“Wishcycling,” Tampa officials say, is the practice of wishing something is recyclable and, therefore, putting it in the recycling bin. That’s a no-no. If the item is sullied with food or liquid waste, it can also tarnish other materials in the bin, turning recyclables into trash.   

There’s an app for that

Tampa has a trash and recycling app available for download to take the guesswork out of determining if something is recyclable. This one-stop shop has a waste sort feature that provides answers on where items should go. The app also includes a collection calendar for single-family homes serviced by the city’s Solid Waste Department.

For more information go to Tampa Recycling.