Sunday, September 26, 1993

How To Recycle In Commercial And Institutional Facilities

Always Rinse Food Cans

Steel cans (and other recyclable food containers) must be rinsed for basic sanitation because they are usually stored for a period of time before they are picked up or delivered for recycling. Rinsing only requires the removal of most food particles.

It is important, however, to rinse cans and other containers without wasting water. No one wants to exchange one precious resource for another.

To make the best use of water already used in the kitchen, rinse steel cans in leftover dishwater used to wash pots and pans. Or run them through an automatic dishwasher in available empty space.

Flatten the Cans for Storage

Steel cans may be flattened manually or mechanically to reduce their volume so that they can be more efficiently stored and economically transported.

For manual flattening, trim the bottom end from the rinsed can in the same way that the lid was removed. Step on the body of he open-ended can to flatten it for storage. Lids have sharp edges, but can be stored in an empty can until it is fully of lids. This can may then be crimped or taped shut for carrying to storage.

Mechanical flattening is done with a specially designed machine, which effectively flattens all sizes of metal cans (with the bottom end intact).

Recycle Through Local Options

Commercial businesses and institutions should contact their waste hauler to negotiate arrangements that provide for the recycling of steel cans and other materials. This normally means that the hauler provides and services a container for the recyclables. The cost of this service should be balanced against the incremental revenue from the scrap value of the recyclables and avoided solid waste removal costs.

An alternative is to work with a ferrous scrap processor or independent recycler. Arrangements may be made to have steel cans (and other materials being recycled) picked up, or to deliver them to a scrap yard or recycling facility when a suitable load is accumulated.

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