By Dave Warren

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – November 15th is America Recycles Day and serves as day to educate, or even reeducate, the public on the proper way to recycle.

“In order to keep recycling sustainable for the long term it’s important to recycle right,” says Waste Management Community Relations Associate Shiraz Kashar.

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Chances are that whatever you put into a recycle bin here in South Florida it will end up at one of their recycling plants.

Double check your cardboard is clean before putting it in your recycling bin. (CBS4)

At the Waste Management recycle facility that Kashar works at, it was easy to find the familiar recycling items like paper, cardboard, plastic and aluminum cans.

All of these materials are easily sorted and packaged before being shipped off to be used again.

The problems start when things that can’t be recycled start showing up.

Contaminants like plastic bags, containers with food in them or even propane tanks can make up 25 to 30 percent of a load to be recycled.

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Examples of the different types of recyclable plastics you should be putting in your bin. (CBS4)

“These contaminants jam up the equipment, slow down the process and put our workers in harm’s way,” said Kashar.

Along with dirty items, it is easy to find wire hangers and extension cords mixed in with loads that arrive at the plant.

“These are known as tanglers,” said Kashar, explaining how these materials can get stuck in the sorting equipment, causing it to slow down or even stop.

“Tanglers,” such as wire hangars and extension cords, can damage recycling equipment. (CBS4)

The main thing to remember is to only recycle clean and dry containers and cardboard.

“It’s important that our residents recycle often,” said Kasher, “but it’s more important that they recycle right.”

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For more information, check out Waste Management’s Recycle Often/Recycle Right page.

Dave Warren