The Recycling Mistake You Probably Never Knew You Were Making

It seems everyone has gone green or is getting there soon, but you could be botching your recycling efforts and not even know it. Plastic grocery bags are a little-known misstep people often make in curbside recycling programs. They not only impact recycling facilities financially, but more importantly, they create a safety issue for employees.

When plastic bags are mixed with acceptable recyclable materials, the bags entwine in the equipment. Employees sort recyclables by hand and are in direct contact with every piece of material delivered to our recovery facilities. This causes unsafe conditions and downtime to clear the equipment.

Plastic bags also contaminate and lower the value of recyclable materials when they are mixed.

The good news is, plastic bags can be recycled with the right collection system and processing equipment. Consider taking them to grocery stores, co-ops and retailers that accept clean, dry plastic bags for recycling. Look for specially designated bins usually located at the entrance of the store.

Each year, millions of dollars are spent removing items that shouldn’t be in the recycling stream. You can help stop the clog and create new materials at the same time. Plastic bags and wraps can be recycled into plastic lumber that is used to make park benches, backyard decks and fences – even playground equipment!*

This one small effort can make a big impact on recycling efforts. Thank you for keeping bags out of the bin!








Cart Placement Made Easy

When it comes to getting rid of a smelly mess, the quicker it’s out of our sight, the better. We want to help you get your trash picked up on time, every time. Proper cart placement is essential for helping our drivers complete their routes promptly. Follow this simple three-step guide, and watch your garbage waste away.

  1. Make sure everything fits in the cart and keep the lid closed. Depending on the service guidelines for your location, materials outside of the cart may not get picked up.
  2. Roll your cart to the curb with the lid opening toward the street. This ensures side loading trucks can easily dump your cart’s contents.
  3. Keep at least three feet of space around all sides of the cart to allow our trucks easy access. Finally, keep the street clear so our drivers can easily reach your cart!

It’s the little things that can hone your pick-up schedule. At Advanced Disposal, we know that untimely pick-ups are rubbish. Thank you for helping our drivers stay on course!


Stop the Great Pacific Garbage Patch Growth

Photo Compliments of Mother Nature Network
Photo Compliments of Mother Nature Network

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) is the world’s largest collection of floating trash.* While much of the contamination comes from countries that don’t have sound solid waste strategies, there is much more we can do at home, not just on Earth Day but every day.

One of the biggest contributors to the GPGP is plastic, and only 7 percent of plastic in the U.S. is recycled. Here’s a sampling of what your plastics and papers become:

  • #1 plastics (water bottles and soft drink bottles) make fabric and carpets.
  • #2 plastics (milk jugs and determent bottles) make decking, lumber, fencing and new bottles.
  • Papers make copy paper, greeting cards, tissue, paper towels and more.

Our recycling facilities also accept:

  • #3 – #7 plastic containers. These include: food, beverage, deli, ice cream, yogurt, cottage cheese, bakery, pill, medicine, and kitty litter containers.
  • aseptic boxes and paper cartons: soup, milk, broth, and orange juice
  • recycled papers (not shredded)
  • aluminum cans (not crushed)
  • glass jars and bottles (no window glass)

It’s important not only to recycle, but to recycle the RIGHT way. Here are four common mistakes that impede the recycling process:

  •  Recyclables in Plastic Bags:When plastic bags are mixed with acceptable recyclable materials, the bags entwine in the machinery and cause downtime to clear the equipment. Because our employees sort by hand, this also creates a safety issue.
  • Plastic Toys and Furniture: Plastic toys and furniture are made of different grades of plastic, which all have different melt points.  This contaminates the melting process and impairs the equipment. Instead, give your old toys and furniture new love and donate them. You can also take them to your local Transfer Facility to recycle for free. Check your facility page for a location near you.
  • Shredded Paper: Shredding paper reduces its size so dramatically that it ends up in the wrong place at recycling facilities. Once it is mixed with glass or residue, it cannot be recovered for recycling. Contact a mobile document destruction service that will take it to their warehouse and bale it for recycling.
  • Pizza Boxes: This is one of the most common recycling mistakes. Although pizza boxes are made of cardboard, the grease from the pizza contaminates the raw material. To ensure your leftovers don’t end up in the Pacific, tear off the untarnished parts for recycling.

Every time you recycle, it counts. Thank you for making a difference!

*National Geographic


12 Days of Christmas Tips on Disposing of Holiday Waste

Advanced_Disposal_12_Days_of_Christmas_Recycling_112_Cans_ColaCans of cola and other aluminum or tin beverage and food containers are widely accepted at Advanced Disposal and third party recycling facilities. Be sure to rinse out the items and place in your bin or cart. Leftover food residue could contaminate an entire load of items making everything unrecyclable, so be sure to keep it clean.

11_CardsWhile most greeting cards can be recycled, consider repurposing the ones that cannot. Upcycle cards by making paper crafts with them such as cutting out the designs to use them as gift tags or ornaments for next year’s holiday season.


Strings of popcorn and even tinsel garland are considered household waste. Place these items in your garbage containers for disposal. Other decorations like glass baubles are not recyclable as well. If any of your glass baubles break, carefully wrap and dispose in your trash bin. Plastic baubles are usually made from types of plastics that are likely to be covered with glitter which would negatively impact the recycling process as well.  … read more


King of the Road: How Advanced Disposal Practices Safe Driving


Advanced Disposal strives to be an industry leader in promoting safe driving practices in all the communities we serve.   We train and equip our collection crew supervisors with the knowledge and tools they need to stay safe while working on their route. Our drivers understand that safe driving practices protect them and everyone on the road.  Here are just a few ways Advanced Disposal is reinforcing safe driving procedures among employees.

Once Advanced Disposal hires a driver, they begin a rigorous training program that starts with five days of classroom training followed by at least ten days of on-the-job training with a qualified driver trainer. After training, only properly trained, qualified, and authorized Advanced Disposal employees are allowed to drive a company vehicle. The Smith System, a professional driver training process, is used to train drivers regarding” Space Cushion Driving,” which helps avoid collisions.  Advanced Disposal also trains employees on industry-specific hazards as well as applicable OSHA and DOT regulations. Along with training, drivers must also have clean driving records, the ability to meet DOT medical standards, and are drug-free. Each driver receives job observations from supervisors to verify that driving and work habits are consistent with company standards. In addition to this training, teams meet at least monthly if not weekly to train and discuss safety topics.

 … read more


4 Tips for a Fun and Green Labor Day Party

Green Labor Day Party


As summer comes to a close, the kids go back to school and football season begins. Labor Day is an opportunity to get together with family and friends for some outdoor fun and one last summer celebration.

Sometimes outdoor parties can become a place for waste, but there are ways to be “green” that are fun, easy and don’t have to break the bank. Here are a few simple ideas to do your part for Mother Earth this Labor Day.

1.       Buy Local Food

Buying local is not only the best way to get the freshest food available, but it also helps out the local economy. Check out some of your local farmer’s markets or find a local farm to buy your seasonal, organic fruits, veggies and grass-fed meats. Buying local helps farmers in your area and gives you peace of mind that what you are buying is the real deal.

Check out LocalHarvest to find a nearby farm or farmers market.

2.         Green Your Grill

Charcoal grills and lighter fluids can be carbon monoxide and chemical powerhouses. If using a charcoal grill, choose natural charcoal, which is essentially charred wood, or wood itself, as it will give off a much cleaner burn.

Although they are a little bit pricier, ceramic grills can also be a viable green option, as they maintain a constant temperature better than traditional metal grills, thus using less resources.

3.         Dine With Reusable Dinnerware

Reusability is key to a successful green dinner. While being green isn’t always the easiest, it is the most rewarding, since there won’t be a big garbage bag full of trash at the end of the party.

Try using cloth napkins instead of paper napkins, as they are less wasteful and just require being laundered. Reusable silverware and plates are a great way to keep waste down, but if you must use disposable silverware, try biodegradable “plantware” and dinnerware. These are made from fallen leaves and plant-based materials, making them completely compostable and guilt-free.

Ditch the plastic cups and opt for mason jars with chalkboard labels that you can customize with each party-goers name. These can be taken home by your guests as party favors, saving the environment and saving you on dirty dishes.

4.         Use Natural Bug Repellent

Bugs can be a pain when outdoors, so having a good bug repellent is a must. Pick natural insect repellents like citronella, which you can find in easy-to-use candles and oils, or try a do-it-yourself insect repellant like this summery scented lemon eucalyptus mosquito repellent.

Fun outside doesn’t have to mean no fun for the planet. Just use the above tips and enjoy a green Labor Day party!

For more on how to make Mother Earth proud, check out these tips.



Ways to Make Your Neighborhood a Safer Place

keeping your neighborhood safe


Remember the days when you were just a kid and could roam the neighborhood for hours after school, on the weekends and all during the summer with never a worry or Q&A from your parents upon your return? The days of playing with neighborhood friends, exploring the bordering woods and riding your bike for endless miles with only the worry of making sure you were home in time for dinner are now memories of the past. Today, you are a parent and the rulebook has changed. There are different, more cautious sets of rules today and for good reason. With local media pushing more crime and mischief stories than ever, we are now more aware of what is happening in our neighborhoods, and knowing exactly where your kids are and who they are with is imperative. Every neighborhood can be a safe place to live when you get your neighbors involved, but it has to start with you. Take the initiative and follow some of these simple steps to a safer neighborhood.  … read more


Sam Safety: Showing Kids How To Be Safe Around Garbage Trucks

Sam Safety- Advanced Disposal

Garbage trucks are a fun and cool thing for kids to watch. They are big, make noise, do fun things with your garbage, and the garbage men and women are people children look up to. While the trucks may be fun to watch, they are not safe to play around. Here are a few tips from Advanced Disposal about keeping children safe around garbage trucks.  … read more


How to be Safe in the Workplace

safety in the workplace


While safety policies, procedures and programs are required to be in place in every organization, knowing your role as an employee can play an important part in the safety of yourself and others. Safety awareness is the key to success in preventing injuries and illnesses. Here are suggestions on how to be safe in the workplace.  … read more


Summer Safety Tips

summer safety tips


The kids are finally out of school, and the family is ready to have some summer fun swimming, hiking, bike riding and being a part of cookouts and other events. Summer can be the best part of the year for some, but everyone must remember to be safe from potential summer dangers. Here are a few summer safety tips to make sure your summer is a fun and safe one.

 … read more


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