Curbside recycling is facing a contamination crisis. Contamination is caused when people place materials in the recycling bin that do not belong. Recycling processors have a difficult time sorting out the trash, which makes its way into the sorted/baled material that is sold to market. For a long time, China was the largest buyer of this material from the U.S. And because of increasing contamination levels, China made the decision to stop importing this material. This left the U.S. with an overabundance of recyclable commodities (re: baled material) with a lot of trash mixed in.
To address the contamination issue and ensure curbside recycling is sustainable:
1) Only put Items excepted by your city into your curbside bins.
2) Place items in loose—do not bag recyclables
3) Only put clean, dry and emptied recyclables in the bin.
4) All other waste goes in your garbage can.—when in doubt, throw it out!