“Tangled Up!” public service ad encourages residents to recycle right
A new public service ad demonstrates why Baltimore County doesn’t accept items such as plastic bags and clothing for recycling.
Produced in-house by Bureau of Solid Waste Management employees, “Tangled Up!” shows how operations are halted daily at the County’s Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) because of residents putting “tanglers” in their recycling bins.
“Tangled Up!” will be shown before feature films at Cinemark Towson, AMC White Marsh and AMC Owings Mills for six weeks starting December 21. It will also run on the County’s television channel, BCTV (cable channel 25 on Verizon and Comcast). Currently, the PSA can be viewed online at Facebook, YouTube and the County’s website.
What are Tanglers?
Tanglers are materials such as plastic bags and textiles that get caught in the MRF equipment and must be cut out by hand, one by one, for operations to resume. At the end of each day, the County uses 10 temporary employees to cut tanglers from between a few thousand “stars” on the MRF’s five sorting screens. Watch a video of the sorters at the County’s MRF becoming tangled with plastic bags. If residents kept tanglers out of the recycling stream, these employees could do other maintenance.
Recycling and Waste Prevention Manager Charlie Reighart said that keeping tanglers out of the recycling stream is part of an overall effort by the County to reduce contamination. Reducing contamination (non-recyclable items in the bin) has become more important due to efforts by China to ban imports of certain products and tighten contamination limits on others.
“While we appreciate residents recycling, it is critical that they keep contaminants out of their recycling so that the County receives more money for its recyclables and produces quality material for new products,” Reighart said. “We hope this PSA will get people to think twice before they throw.”
Keep Tanglers Out of the Recycling Stream
The County asks residents to reuse, upcycle, donate or properly dispose of tanglers in a trash can instead of placing them in the recycling bin.
Local retailers often accept plastic bags for recycling. Residents are encouraged to visit abagslife. com or plasticfilmrecycling.org to find plastic bag recycling drop-off locations in Baltimore County. In addition, the Bureau of Solid Waste Management updates its Reuse Directory every two years to help residents find places to donate or sell clothing, linens and other items that the County does not accept for recycling. For tangler upcycle projects and reuse ideas, residents can follow Clean Green Baltimore County on Facebook or search Pinterest.
For more information on accepted recyclables, see the County’s website or call 410-887-2000.
Tour the County’s MRF
Baltimore County offers free, 60-90 minute tours for up to 30 people. Tours are given to groups of all kinds, including community associations, faith-based organizations and student groups, grades four and up. The tours allow people to learn about waste management in Baltimore County and see firsthand what happens to recyclables from the time they are collected until they are baled for market. Those interested in taking a MRF tour can submit a request online.