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Going Green: Celebrate America Recycles Day

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America Recycles Day was November 15, but at Southwest, we are celebrating today by promoting proper recycling practices.  Southwest is proud of our Triple Bottom Line commitment to Performance, People, and Planet, and part of the commitment to the Planet is to minimize our impact on the environment.  Recycling is one of many ways we honor our commitment to the Planet and Performance by saving the Company the cost of disposing of the materials that can be recycled. One of the biggest barriers to recycling the materials we collect is contamination, which can be too much liquid in a recycling container, food scraps, or even trash mixed in with recyclable items.  An incorrectly recycled item will contaminate an entire collection container of recyclable material and cause that entire container of materials to be landfilled instead—something we want to avoid!  To help make recycling easier, we’ve put together a quick guide on the do’s and don’ts of recycling. Items that CAN be recycled:
  • Empty aluminum cans
  • Empty plastic bottles, with the cap screwed on; loose caps cannot be recycled
  • Paper and cardboard items not contaminated with food or grease
  • Empty cream and sugar containers
  • Rinsed plastic yogurt cups, oatmeal cups, soup cans, and food trays
  • Clean plastic food containers used by many restaurants
Items that CANNOT be recycled through our current program:
  • Food contaminated items, including pizza boxes
  • Paper towels and napkins
  • Grocery bags
  • Food wrappers
  • Styrofoam
This list covers some basics of recycling, but when in doubt, it’s best to put it in the trash rather than risk contaminating the rest of the materials. If you want more information about recycling at Southwest, read the One Report for detailed information about Southwest’s environmental stewardship, or comment below and leave any recycling suggestions you have!