The Dos and Don’ts Of Recycling In Fort Worth

Hundreds of recycled plastic water bottles are piled up. (credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Hundreds of recycled plastic water bottles are piled up. (credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

For the City of Fort Worth it’s million-dollar problem. That’s the price the city pays every year, to recycle items that didn’t belong in resident’s recycling bins.

The city is working very hard to let people know what you can and cannot recycle. Workers say they’ve found everything from electronics to dead animals in the recycle bins.

Right now, there are eight people on Fort Worth’s ‘blue crew’. Five days a week, a team of two or three workers are busy cracking down on anyone trying to recycle the wrong material.

From Styrofoam, to plastic bags, pizza boxes and more, the blue crew says it can get frustrating.

Everyday city inspectors target a different neighborhood, where residents try to recycle material with food on it or things that just don’t belong. “The juice cartons no – because it’s waxy,” explained one worker.

To help combat the seven-figure cost of weeding out the unwanted material, city officials are kicking up the recycling education effort.

According to the blue crew, an average of 20-30 percent of recyclables end up in the landfill. Inspectors say they’re just trying to cut down on the waste.

Those contributing to the recycling problem may receive a tag, note or a ticket. “We’re not out here to fine people or be mean,” explained field supervisor Keith Christian. “We’re just trying to educate.”

BELOW IS A LIST OF ITEMS THE CITY OF FORT WORTH IS ABLE TO RECYCLE:

Office and school paper
Cardboard boxes (that fit in the cart)
Soda bottles
Food and juice cans
Junk mail
Metal and plastic lids
Catalogs, magazines
Glass bottles and jars (empty)
Soda cans
Paper board (cereal, beverage)
Telephone books
Detergent bottles (empty)
Newspapers
Plastic containers (with recycling symbol)
Water and milk jugs (empty)