The following contains the exact language (italicized) currently found in a standard commercial Waste Management contract specifically related to recycling services. In addition to excerpts from the contractual agreement, we will follow up with a plain-language interpretation.
All Recyclable Materials must be clean, dry, unshredded, empty, loose and unbagged. [Plain English: the recycling companies don’t want dirty stuff. They don’t want shredded office paper. Also, NEVER bag your recyclables in a plastic trash bag or other plastic liner. Any plastic bags in the recycling bin will cause problems at the Material Recycling Facility (MRF). Either the bags or plastic film will wrap around the sorting equipment and shut them down or they pass through the sorting process and often wind up in the paper bales. Since plastic is obviously not paper, it is a major contaminant of paper bales and may lead to the paper bales being unmarketable and therefore not recycled. Each day workers have to shut down equipment at MRFs and climb into rotor areas and cut away the plastic bags and film that have fouled the equipment.]