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Lansing Supervisor Ed LaVigne noted Wednesday at the January Town Board meeting that the Tompkins County Department of Recycling and Materials Management sent a notice that fewer plastic recyclables are being accepted for curbside collection.  Plastic containers labeled with numbers 1, 2, and 5 are being accepted.  3, 4, 6, and 7 are not.

"People actually have had some things picked out and left there when they recycled," he said.  "My understanding is it is because the Chinese are not taking some of the recyclables."

Tompkins County Legislator Mike Sigler explained that China no longer takes some kinds of polymers, so there is no longer a market for it.

"Just to be clear, the change in acceptable materials to #1, 2 and 5 applies to all single stream recycling.....including BOTH curbside and materials brought to the Recycling and Solid Waste Center," says Recycling and Materials Management's Geoff Dunn. "Anything marked with #3, 4, 6, 7 or unmarked should go in your trash to reduce the risk of contaminating the recycling loads."

  Accepted at Curbside
1   Polyethylene Terephthalate   Soft drink, water, sports drink, salad dressing, and vegetable oil bottles; peanut butter, pickle and jelly jars, prepared food trays; mouthwash bottles   Yes
2   High-density Polyethylene   Miklk jugs; juice bottles; yogurt tubs; butter tubs; cereal box liners; shampoo, moror oil, bleach, detergent, and household cleaner bottles; grocery bags   Yes
3   Polyvinyl Chloride   Clear food packaging; wire and cable insulation; pipes and fittings; siding; flooring; fencing; window frames; shower curtains; lawn chairs; children's toys   No
4   Low Density Polyethylene   Dry cleaning, bread, and frozen food bags; squeezable, wash, and dispensing bottles; 6-pack rings; various molded laboratory equipment   No
5   Polypropylene   Ketchup, and syrup bottles; most yogurt tubs; bottle caps; straws; dishware; medicine bottles; some auto parts; pails; packing tape   Yes
6   Polystyrene   Disposable plates, and cutlery, cafeteria, and meat trays; egg cartons; carry-out containers; aspirin bottles; CD/DVD cases; Styrofoam products, including packaging peanuts   No
7   Other   3/5 gallon water jugs; citrus juice bottles; plastic lumber; headlight lenses; safety glasses; gas containers; bullet-=\proof materials; acrylic, nylon, polycarbonate; polylactic plastic; combinations of different plastics   No

In addition to plastics, cardboard and mixed paper; glass containers that are clear, green, or brown; metal cans and foil; and paper milk and juice containers may still be recycled at the curb.

Verboten are Plastic bags or film; #3, #4, #6, #7 or unmarked plastics; Styrofoam®; Drinking glasses, Pyrex®, or coffee pots; Paper cups, tissues, napkins; Syringes; Containers from hazardous waste; Compostable disposables; Hangers; PVC pipe; and rigid plastics.

The Department Web site lists a number of other items that can be recycled, such as appliances, electronics, and hazardous wastes.

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