Glass, certain plastics no longer recyclable under Gilbert's new recycling program

The market place for recycling has changed over the past few years, and that has forced several cities to cut back, or do away their recycling program altogether.

Related: Casa Grande suspends its recycling program amidst high cost

In the East Valley, the City of Gilbert is changing its recycling program, and that means a few of the things people in town are used to putting in the blue bin will have to be thrown into the garbage can instead.

A number of items are now not recyclable

Under the changes, glass is now off limits, along with some plastics. The best rule of thumb is if it’s a plastic bottle, jug or jar, it can go in a blue bin, along with aluminum and tin food and beverage containers.

Items like plastic grocery bags don’t belong in the recycle bin.

Meanwhile, some items may prove tricky. For example, while a pizza box can be recycled, but if grease is present, people should cut out the greasy part and toss it away.

Municipal workers are checking recycling bins

Recently, workers in Gilbert are going door to door to do some dumpster diving. Their work consists of checking recycle bins for things that don’t belong.

"We want to focus on those items, and also help people take some of that determination out of the blue bin and put it in the trashcan, and that's going to help strengthen our program and make it successful," said Paul Montes with Gilbert Environmental Services.

Crews are not giving out trash tickets. Rather, they are giving out tips on the new dos and don'ts.

For some family, like the Sextons, they are not worried about the bin checks. 10-year-old Roman Sexton is an expert of sorts in recycling.

"it’s fun because you get take recycling and put it in the blue bin, and it takes the recycling in your house and gets rid of it in a good way," said Roman. "I really don’t think of it as a habit. I think of it as a gift. So like I have a gift of helping the world."

Up to 75 percent of residents in Gilbert recycle, and the East Valley city hopes to have everyone on board with the changes by September.

Gilbert's recycling program

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