CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

Blue bin blues

Keep it loose, don't bag your recyclables

SAN DIEGO — This Zevely Zone starts in my kitchen.  I am standing next to my wife, Heather, as I toss recyclables into our bin. 

"Bottles, cans, cardboard," I say. "Here at the Zevely household, we are committed to recycling."  

"That's true, but for some time now, I've been telling Jeff he's been doing it all wrong," says Heather. "He keeps putting the all of the recyclables in a plastic bag and I tell him that's just messing up the machinery at the sorting center."

"That's true," I say. "I've always thought the people at the recycling center could just figure it out - that is until I recently saw a San Diego City trash truck."  

The message reads, "Keep it Loose" because apparently if you follow your recyclables from your house, to the truck, to the conveyor belt, the plastic bags jam the machinery at the sorting center and can bring the entire operation to a stand still.

I headed to Miramar to hear it straight from the source. 

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"So, when these types of materials get caught in, they have to slow down or stop the equipment and sometimes that can take thirty minutes to an hour for the staff to cut it out with knives or scissors or really anything they can get their hands on," said Justin Ono. 

He is the city's recycling specialist and he sent me a video the city made that offers other options for plastic bags. The video states, "Plastic bags and plastic wrap are recyclable, just not in your blue bin. Check your grocery store or home improvement store for options."

Most importantly, the next time you head to the blue bin, listen to your wife, kids and neighbors. 

"Hey dad, Keep it Loose," said my oldest daughter.

"Hey dad, Keep it Loose!" said my youngest daughter.  

"Hey Mr. Z. Keep it Loose," said the boy across the street. 

Finally my wife, "Jeff, Keep it Loose!"

If you'd like to learn more about recycling and "Keeping it Loose" go to https://youtu.be/4JfwTLhWxlQ or watch the video below: