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What forms of payment do you accept?

A: Medina County Solid Waste only accepts cash and checks as a form of payment. We do not accept credit or debit cards.

Why can’t I bag my recyclables?

A:  Clean plastic bags can easily get caught in recycling sorting machine gears. Simply place loose recyclables directly into your curbside recycling bin or a drop-off bin. Plastic bags are 100% recyclable if done correctly. Most grocery stores provide a container to recycle your plastic bags, so they can easily be recycled when you shop for groceries.

Why is it important to flatten cardboard boxes before placing them in my curbside or drop-off container?

A:  Cardboard boxes take up a lot of space in the recycling container. Breaking them down, or flattening them before placing them in the curbside or drop-off container saves space and creates additional capacity to recycle even more items.

I recycle everything, even if I’m not sure it’s accepted. Is this okay?

A:  Recycling has become part of the culture in Medina County. People care about preserving natural resources and creating local jobs. While wanting to recycle everything is admirable, ‘wish-cycling’ can negatively impact the amount of materials you actually recycle.

Sorting facilities are engineered to deal with certain material types, and when other goods are introduced into the system many things can go wrong. The first step of this sorting process requires people to sort out contamination. The cleaner the material is of potentially dangerous or unaccepted items, the safer the workers are and the less likely the machines are to get jammed.

Metal hangers, hoses, and plastic bags can easily get caught in machine gears and lead to a work stoppage or costly repair. Please be sure to recycle your plastic bags at your local grocery store near you to keep the recycling process running smoothly.

Items that aren’t accepted for recycling but are placed into the recycling bin anyway, just take a long detour to the landfill at an additional significant expense. These materials are not recycled if they aren’t listed as accepted.

What do the numbers of plastics mean?

A:  There are seven types of consumer plastic or resin, each with unique characteristics. A recycling symbol with or without a number doesn’t necessarily indicate that an item is accepted for recycling. The numbers on plastic are an identification code communicating what type of plastic resin the item is made from. In Medina County, the number of a plastic doesn’t matter. You only need to look at the shape of a container to know if you can put it in your bin. As long as the plastic is a bottleneck or jug shape then it’s accepted. The simplest rule to remember is whether the bottle or jug has a neck that is smaller than the base of the container.  As long as it is shaped like a bottle or jug, and the neck is smaller than the base, you can put it in your recycling bin.  Say goodbye to the days when you had to read that tiny number!

What items are NOT accepted for recycling?

A:  The following items are not currently accepted through Medina County’s curbside recycling programs or at the Medina County Solid Waste District’s drop-off recycling locations:

  • Plastic: Containers that DO NOT have a bottleneck (a neck or top that is smaller than the base of the container). For example, yogurt cups, butter tubs, drinking cups, disposable storage containers, toys, plastic bags, plastic films and bubble wrap, plastic utensils and dinnerware, and clam shells like take-out containers and fruit containers.
  • Polystyrene foam or “Styrofoam” egg cartons, plates, cups, etc.
  • Glass: Ceramics, window or drinking glass, light bulbs and any other glass not in the shape of a bottle or jar.
  • Paper Items: Coffee cups and other disposable paper cups, plates, contaminated with food. Tissues, toilet paper and paper towels.
  • Drink Pouches
  • Metals: Coat hangers, pots and pans, steel scraps and any other metal not in the shape of a container
  • Sharps and Medical Waste: no needles or other medical wastes are accepted.  Hypodermic needles are dangerous for the workers involved in collecting and processing the recyclable materials. Please – do not place any hypodermic needles in your recycling bins or containers.
  • Batteries: batteries are not recyclable through a curbside program and are not accepted at the drop-off locations. Batteries are a significant cause of fires in recycling trucks and at recycling processing facilities. Do not place any batteries in your recycling bin or container.  Bring them for FREE to the MCSWD’s campus at 8700 Lake Road, Seville
  • Textiles and other “tanglers”:  Items like clothing, garden hoses, and extension cords can get caught up in the equipment that is used to process the recyclable materials. These items are not recyclable in curbside programs or at drop-off locations and cause problems at the recycling facility.

Why are certain items not accepted for recycling?

A:  A complex set of factors governed broadly by supply and demand determine whether an item is accepted for recycling. An item is only accepted for recycling in your community if there is a demand for the recyclable material close enough to Medina County to make the process of collecting and processing the material economically sustainable. If there are no companies in close proximity that will purchase the material and make a new product out of it, then it is not recyclable. There may be a company that uses the material to make a new product somewhere in the world (say Seattle), but the transportation costs to get the material to that factory would be cost prohibitive. Therefore, the material would be deemed un-recyclable in our area (but not necessarily in a region closer Seattle, in this example). Just because you see a recycling symbol on a plastic container doesn’t mean it is accepted for recycling where you live, it just means the item is recyclable ‘somewhere’.

Why isn’t Styrofoam accepted?

A:  Expanded polystyrene (EPS), commonly called ‘Styrofoam’, is recyclable in some communities, but is not currently accepted anywhere in Medina County.  Used Styrofoam cups cannot be easily recycled into new cups and there isn’t a market for this type of material locally. Additionally, Styrofoam isn’t very economical to transport because it is mostly made of air – so a semi-truck full of cups isn’t actually a large weight of material. Recycling, like all industries in the modern economy, relies on supply and demand. What can you do to combat Styrofoam waste? Encourage businesses using this material to opt for greener alternatives and bring your own container for leftovers or a cup for coffee.

What happens during the recycling process?

A:  In Medina County, the single stream recyclables collected through the District’s drop-off program are processed at Kimble Companies’ Twinsburg Material Recovery Facility (MRF). At the Kimble MRF, co-mingled recyclables are sorted through a variety of mechanical and people power into their material types. Materials like plastic bottles and aluminum cans are then compressed into cubes called bales, and material types like glass are collected in large dumpsters. These commodities are sold to companies that process that material so new products can be made from recycled content.

Making products from recycled content helps reduce the amount of pollution and habitat destruction generated by creating goods from virgin materials. It’s important to remember that recycling takes a team effort.

How does a recycling facility work?

A:  In Medina County, when recyclables are collected from your curb or a drop-off box, they are delivered to a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). At the MRF, people and specialized equipment is used to sort out the recyclables into different categories. A series of screens, blowers magnets, optical sorters (using lasers to identify the different materials) and other technologies are used to sort each material into bales. (Glass isn’t baled, instead it is typically crushed and collected in large dumpsters.) All of this material is sold to companies that make it into new products.

I live in an apartment, condo or other multi-family housing unit and don’t have curbside. Where can I recycle?

A:  The Medina County Solid Waste District provides multiple drop-off recycling locations throughout Medina County for those who don’t have curbside recycling. A list of available locations is available here.

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