Big Bins invade city to encourage recycling of plastic

Big Bins invade city to encourage recycling of plastic Big Bins have begun to appear in Vermillion to help citizens recycle certain types of plastic. The large green containers are easy to spot. This one is located downtown, at the corner of Main and Market streets. The City of Vermillion Missouri Valley Recycling and the Joint Solid Waste system serving Vermillion, Yankton and Elk Point recently received a grant from NAPCOR (National Association of Plastic Container Recovery) to assist an effort to collect and recycle single serve plastic containers. The grant provided funds to purchase "Big Bins" and develop educational materials. The Big Bins are made from 100 percent recycled PET plastic.

PET is also known as Plastic #1 and can be recognized in all single serve and in most larger pop, juice and water bottles. The PET plastic container can often be found in vehicles, along roadsides and in fields. They may be lurking in people's refrigerators or coolers. If you have in your possession any of these culprits, the Missouri Valley Recycling recommends the following actions to people possessing PET containers:

1. Empty all contents � drink or pour out any remaining liquid.

2. Discard caps lids in a garbage container (not recyclable at this time).

3. Find a Big Bin and place PET container in the Big Bin for recycling.

4. Or place PET container in your recycling bin for collection or delivery to your drop-off center.

5. Do not place garbage in the Big Bin.

6. Aluminum cans may also be placed in the Big Bins.

Phyllis W. Packard, Vermillion's solid waste director, urges citizens to help keep communities clean and support recycling. The PET plastic recycled is sold and the funds provide for the recycling facility operations in the area. The Big Bins are currently being distributed throughout the Vermillion-Yankton-Elk Point area to public areas and businesses willing to assist the program's success. Businesses and groups are committing their time to empty full containers and provide full bag delivery to the local recycling facility. The joint solid waste system will provide assistance with the material transportation where required.

Businesses, nonprofit groups or organizations interested in acquiring a Big Bin or assisting with the project may contact Packard, at 605-677-7076.

What is PET?

"PET" stands for polyethylene terephthalate and is the type of plastic labeled with the #1 code on or near the bottom of bottles and containers. Some of the products packaged in PET containers include soft drinks, juice, water, liquor, peanut butter, salad dressings and oil, cosmetics and household cleaners. PET is a popular package for food and non-food products because it is inexpensive, lightweight, shatter-resistant and recyclable. Recycled PET bottles can be used to make many new products, including polyester carpet, polyester fabric for t-shirts and sweaters, fiberfill for sleeping bags and winter coats, industrial strapping and new PET bottles.

NAPCOR Activities:

With the number of new PET plastic containers on the market increasing every year, communities across America are including PET bottles in their recycling programs. NAPCOR helps communities recycle PET with technical and communications activities, including:

* Assistance with setting up PET collection programs, such as the traditional curbside and drop-off programs, as well as alternative collection programs. This includes PETE's Big Bin, a container made with recycled PET bottles for single serve PET bottle collection. And, localized campaigns to encourage those who consume products in single serve PET bottles to "Take It Home" to recycle in the curbside program rather than throw it away.

* Promotional and educational materials, including displays, fashion shows and media materials.

* Market facilitation and market research.

* Local initiatives to promote PET recycling with advertising or public awareness.

* Promoting awareness of and encouraging the purchase of products made with recycled PET plastic.

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