Frequently Asked Questions
Do you take plastic bags?
No. Although they are technically recyclable, they would be ruined in a curbside recycling program. They are best avoided. Reusable grocery bags are inexpensive and easy to use - once you have enough to be sure there are always some in the car.
Despite the fact that many grocery bags are recycled, there is little material to recover, relative to the energy required. There is a tremendous amount of energy required to make and deliver them - typically for a single use. (And how many times have you gotten a cereal box double bagged alone?) Additionally, other types of plastic bags are considered contamination, so bread bags, garbage bags, etc cause problems when recycling grocery bags.
The real problem is that they are not photo-degradable, where they would eventually dissolve but rather they break into small flakes and last a very long time. Bags that end up in waterways ultimately come to resemble small bait fish and work their way into the food chain. Plastic that ends up making it to the ocean becomes part of a unique and embarrassing human footprint - the Pacific Garbage Patch (aka, the Pacifc Gyre) Follow here for a real eye opener. (http://science.howstuffworks.com/great-pacific-garbage-patch2.htm). Plastic pieces or various size and density swirl in ocean depths up to 600 feet deep (the furthest tested as I wrote this) - think oceanic snow globe... Mounting evidence suggests that where ocean currents swirl, plastic garbage is present in the center, so other oceans likely share this feature.
While new taxes are always cumbersome and unpopular, Ireland enacted a tax on plastic bags that cut use by over 90% in under a month and raised revenue for other environmental projects. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/2205419.stm
They are a nuisance and are easily avoided.
Do you take Styrofoam?
No. Fast food packaging is contaminated with food waste and too flimsy to be of much use. If it's packaging peanuts, save them to use later or bring them to a mailing center - they'll be glad to take clean, dry peanuts. Bulk Styrofoam is recyclable and something we'd like to explore in the future, but unavailable now.
Encourage your favorite restaurant to use biodegradable/compostable carry out containers. For information on better food containers, check out www.BiopackAmerica.com - to order a sample pack or to review all of their products go directly to their wholesale order page: www.BiopackAmerica.com/wholesale
Do you take glass?
No. We had to stop in November of 2008 due to lack of markets in the region. It's a problem Nationwide, but even more so here due to the location of major glass consumers. There are uses in road bed applications, dustless parking lot cover, concrete aggregate and sand blasting, but none of these is a long term solution or a major source of demand. There aren't a lot of industrial consumers in the area - users are limited to large glass manufacturers like Corning or small users like glass counter tops or landscaping accents.
Do you provide bins?
Yes and No
Yes - We have 96 gallon cans for commercial accounts - prices are per pickup and usually used for much larger volume than a single residential account would generate.
No. We don't provide a bin for residential accounts - to do so would only drive up the cost and could prove wasteful, depending on the City's plans. We also don't want to buy that much plastic. Instead, we are encouraging people to reuse their old bins or garbage cans. If that's not an option, an old laundry basket/ice chest/etc works fine - as do boxes and paper grocery bags. If you do need to buy something, go for something that will have a life after us - a medium sized garbage can, a Rubbermaid container, storage bin, etc.
Do I need to sort?
No. The facility where we bring material sorts much more efficiently than we can on the trucks.
How does the billing work?
For residential customers and small businesses we bill quarterly in advance via email and send a reminder every month if there is a balance. You can opt to pay monthly or quarterly. Quarterly payment is best for us, even if it's later in the quarter.
For commercial accounts, we bill monthly via email.
Payment can be made by check to PO Box 850315, NOLA 70185. To pay online, you have to have a paypal account. Log on to your paypal account and initiate a payment to our email address (info@PhoenixRecyclingNOLA.com).
We are in the process of getting an online payment and auto-debit option.