Free curbside recycling of plastic bottles goes citywide on Monday, April 4. City residents will soon be able to deposit plastic bottles - any whose neck is smaller than the base - in their blue recycling bins along with other recyclables, and place the bins curbside for free pickup as part of the Hot Springs Sanitation Department’s Earth Angel Recycling Program. Lids should be removed, contents emptied, and the bottle rinsed before recycling.
“We’re really glad to see this day finally arrive for Hot Springs residents,” said Sanitation Director Randy Atkinson. “Our recycling program has grown to the point where we can now offer what many people have requested. Now that we have a baler, it’s more feasible to recycle plastic bottles in large quantities.”
“It’s not about numbers anymore,” Atkinson added. Instead of looking for numbers within a chasing arrow symbol, residents can simply recycle any plastic bottle, jar or jug whose neck is smaller than the base. Arrows and numbers don’t always equal recyclability. Items like tubs and trays are manufactured with chemicals that prevent them from being recycled with bottles.
Limiting plastics collection to bottles only will significantly lower contamination levels that come with too broad a program, Atkinson explained. Markets for plastic bottles are stable, verifiable and financially viable. Plastic bottles are a feedstock for domestic manufacturing. Nationwide, Americans are only recycling 30% of all the bottles available to recycle. “Together, we can increase that number,” Atkinson said. To begin recycling or for more information, contact Sanitation at 321-6911.