What is contamination?

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Contamination occurs when items that are meant to be disposed of in the trash are put in the recycling bin. A common example of this is when liquids from school lunches saturate recycled cardboard. When cardboard gets wet, it loses its structural integrity and can no longer be recycled.

Common sources of contamination at AACPS include food waste, plastics bags, film plastics, potato chip and Ziploc bags, plastic straws, tissues, napkins and paper towels. Be sure to clean out food containers and to empty all liquids out of bottles or cans prior to recycling them.