Local programs aims to keep candy wrappers out of landfills

By  | 

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - 'Tis the season for screams, scares and sugar highs. The country is expected to spend around $2.6 billion on Halloween candy this year, and that means a lot of wrappers left behind that aren't exactly environmentally-friendly.

"They are not a recyclable material in your curbside recycling or at a county drop-off location," notes Adam Cassi, executive director for Keep Toledo/Lucas County Beautiful.

Your kid's Halloween haul is made better with variety, of course, but therein lies the main problem for most recycling plants.

"Your M&Ms are more of a paper, where your Smarties are more of a plastic," explains Cassi, "so you can't throw them all in a 'single-stream' recycling [program]."

Type is one factor, but size is another. Cassi says anything smaller than a credit card just tends to blow around the facility.

With city and council backing, Keep Toledo/Lucas County Beautiful is rolling out collection boxes to keep as many wrappers out of the landfill as possible. Those boxes will, in turn, be sent to "TerraCycle", a New Jersey-based company that specializes in hard-to-recycle items.

A few area locations have already signed on for this drive, including most area YMCAs, Girl Scout Trunk-or-Treat events, and even the National Museum of the Great Lakes.

Just for the record, you may want to rethink putting most food wrappers and containers in your curbside recycle bin, including pizza boxes.

"Anything that fiber absorbs is hard to get back out again," explains Cassi, "so once you've got a pizza box -- or any other cardboard product -- that has food waste or oil on it... it is contaminated. Throw it away."

The organization hopes the wrapper program will help remind Toledoans to properly sort their trash year-round. Drop-off locations will be available around the city until "America Recycles Day" on November 15th.

For more information -- or to request a box for your event -- visit KTLCB.org (Keep Toledo/Lucas County Beautiful).