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Oops! Outagamie County did it again: The idea to keep residents recycling

Oops Tag
Posted at 4:18 PM, Sep 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-14 17:18:04-04
  • Outagamie County wants people to be careful about what they’re recycling
  • Reimagined “Oops Tag” program keeps residents accountable
  • Recycling do's and dont's

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

At Outagamie County recycling and Solid Waste, they want people in the neighborhood to be more careful about what they’re recycling. I’m Olivia Acree, your Appleton neighborhood reporter. I’ll tell you how this - will hold neighbors accountable.

“People think it's a parking ticket on your recycling, it’s nothing like that,” said Jordan Hiller, Outagamie County Recycling and Solid Waste.

If you live in Outagamie County and have seen a tag like this on your recycling bin, or maybe your neighbors, it’s because you had an item not fit for curbside recycling inside.

“Just to give you a heads up, hey, to keep these out of your cart for next time,” Hiller said.

“Oops Tags” have no consequences, it’s just a reminder, he said.

“We started to notice a slight uptick in our residual rate," Hiller said. "Residual is just means, essentially the garbage that comes in that will ultimately go up this line that you see behind me go to the compactor and go up to the landfill."

Hiller explained that national residual rates are around 20-25%, but in Outagamie County, they’ve never been higher than 9%.

“We're very proud of that fact. And a lot of that has to do with our residents who are sending in the right material. And we want to keep that when to keep that trend going,” he said.

The “common four” can be recycled items are glass, metal, paper and plastic.

And four common that can’t be are shredded paper, plastic bags, Styrofoam and aerosol cans.

Another item you can’t put in your bin: batteries like the ones we use at NBC 26. These pose a fire risk and Hiller tells us these fires have happened in their facilities before.

“We actually had two fires that happened so this would either be a laptop battery or rechargeable battery, and it actually went through our paper baler. So, when it got inside those lithium ion cells when that baler started to squeeze it together actually caught fire and exploded inside the baler,” Hiller said.

Being conscious of what you’re recycling is important for the facilities’ safety and to reduce waste in our landfills.

For a complete list of what’s recyclable and what isn’t, visit Recycling do's and dont's.

In Appleton, Olivia Acree NBC 26.