Fresno Recycling: What Can I Put In The Bin?!

What do you not put in the blue bin? What goes in the trash? Sadly more than you think.

I have never considered recycling as a money-making endeavor, for cities. They are Government. They are supposed to help society do good things, make things better, even if it does not make money.

I am a dummy.

In the case of recycling, the City of Fresno and a lot of cities across the nation, for the most part, only accept recycled material they can make their money back on.

Recently, this reason has caused the city to accept less material in the blue bin.

If you’re in the County and use Republic Services or some other garbage dudes, these rules seem to apply the same, I was unable to find a definitive difference.

Things you can’t put in the blue bin but thought maybe you could (the bummer facts).

You can check keepfresnoclean.com for more but here are the highlights:

  • Bottle caps.
  • Clothes and blankets.
  • Air filters.
  • Used (soiled) pizza boxes.
  • Dry cleaning bags.
  • Plastic grocery store bags.
  • Coffee machine pods.
  • Plastic drinking cups (from places like Dutch Brothers, ect.)

They all go in the grey trash bin, in case you are wondering.

The plastic drinking cups and bottle cap thing threw me. The City of Fresno site says ALL plastic can be recycled, but I don’t think it has been updated in a while.

This sucks. I have been putting all those things listed (with the exception of pizza boxes) in the recycling bin. Now what?

Why Can’t We Recycle All The Plastics?

Well, it apparently relates to something called “Operation Green Fence.” This was a thing to clean up the amount of recycling material that China takes in.

China was the main customer for most of the United States recycling materials. But for reasons, it is no longer profitable enough for China to take all our junk so they started weeding out the less profitable material.

That’s why things like bottle caps and plastic cups are no longer allowed in our recycling bins, it’s not profitable enough. You would think it would not matter, you pay decent money for the service, they should take all the recycling you can toss at them.

But, that is not the real world.

You and I may not like it but we are own on how to deal with much of the recycling. The City of Fresno can only do so much, I guess.

Pack in. Pack out.

What can we do?

Bring your own cup.

Places like Dutch Bros. encourages you to bring your own cup for them to use (since the drinks they put in plastic cups are the cups you can’t recycle).

I’m pretty fond of Yeti cups:

You can also try to find a recycler in town that will take the plastic the city of Fresno won’t. I want to recommend some but I can’t because I have no knowledge of any. If they can’t make money back on it, why would they?

Buy reusable water bottles.

Even though you can still recycle plastic water bottles, maybe there are times you can lug around your own and reduce plastic production. Perfect for all those disgusting looking kombuchas you drink.

Does Fresno still recycle more than other cities?

We are supposed to be the top (per capita) recycling city in the country. Even if that is still true, it doesn’t feel like it anymore. If these rules apply to all cities, I guess we are cool.

I’d like to know we are working to find ways to take more stuff in the blue bin. Hopefully, Fresno is.

In the meantime, if I am not sure which bin my junk goes in, I will put it in the blue one and let them sort it out. Maybe there is the off chance it will get recycled, even if it does not make money.

This Is A Garbage Post

Enough! Last straw, Creepy Truck Guy that picks through my recycling at night. You wanna take stuff out, that’s fine. Just don’t start mixing, dammit!

One trash-day morning before leaving for work, I noticed some of my recycling on the ground instead of in the bin. I stop to pick it up and then notice a whole grip of recycling material had been “transferred” over into my grey garbage bin.

Obviously, scavengers had been on the street last night and made their search through the blue bin easier by tossing recycling into the grey bin, then leaving it there.

This Is Not A Rant About Scavengers.

Normally I don’t have a problem with people picking recycling out of my bin. If you want to work that hard to nab (what I assume is) fifty cents worth of cans and plastic bottles that I’m too lazy to bring to the recycling center, have at it.

But when you start compromising the green or grey bins with items that were intended for the recycling bin? Fuck you.

Really I am just pissed because you just made more work for me. I am going to pick through my own trash and save my cans now. Yep, no soup for you, buddy.

I go through a lot of cans too. The shift to packaging more craft beer in cans is definitely reflected in my blue bin. Big revenue hit there, pal.

(Is it big revenue? I have no idea.)

Will Creepy Truck Guy get this message?

Doubt it. I even started spacing my blue bin WAY away from the other bins in hopes that he will think “Gosh. I must have really upset this person. I will be more thoughtful next time.”

Now I have the most passive-aggressive bins on the street.

The reality is, I will work my way up to about three bags worth of cans, decide that it will be too much hassle to bring them somewhere and just put them in the blue been anyway.

For now though? I am a bin asshole.