Send your recycling question to PhysicalPlantHelp@vmi.edu.

The City of Lexington employees who pick up our recycling must be able to see the contents of the bag to confirm it contains recyclables. They often work early in the morning in low visibility, and clear bags help. Once the bags reach the sorting center, workers there quickly visually scan each bag for contaminants and to make sure it contains no hazards.

If a bag appears to contain noticeable contamination, such as food or liquids, the recyclable items no longer have value. The entire bag must be thrown out; the sorting center will not accept it.

Three reasons: first, the caps are often a different density of plastic than the bottle, so they melt at a different temperature. During the reprocessing they will contaminate a batch of plastic, making it unusable. Second, most caps are small and can fall into conveyor belts, causing jams and costly work stoppages. Finally, caps can fly off bottles when they are compressed or baled, and cause injuries to workers.

The bag prevents shreds from escaping and making a mess of your office, our trucks, and the roadways. Of course, use a CLEAR bag so the contents will be identified as recyclable.