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Posted on: August 31, 2021

Town Urges Residents to Cut Down on Contaminated Recyclables

Newsflash Contaminated Recyclables Graphic

The Town of Flower Mound is asking residents to cut down on the amount of contamination found in recyclables. Recycling contaminants are items that belong in the trash because they are contaminated with food or other residues, or it’s simply an item that’s not recyclable. Just one dirty bottle or unrecyclable item can contaminate the contents of a whole recycling truck.

According to an audit performed by Republic Services in March of 2021, 24.88 percent of all recycling in Flower Mound is contaminated. That’s just below the national average of 25 percent, but well over the Town's goal.

Having a high rate of contamination can hurt our planet and your wallet! That’s because Flower Mound and the surrounding area is limited in the amount of landfill space it has. The more recyclables that are contaminated the more items must go to landfills. As available landfill space fills up, the need to expand will cause disposal costs to increase.

Here are some easy tips to remember while recycling:

  1. Know what to throw – Items that can be recycled, if they are not contaminated with food or other residue, include flattened cardboard, newspapers, magazines, office paper, common mail, metal beverage and food cans, and plastic bottles and jugs.
  2. Empty. Clean. Dry. – Soiled or wet materials can not be recycled. Once cardboard or paper comes into contact with food or liquid, it can no longer be recycled. That means greasy pizza boxes should NOT be placed in your recycling bin.
  3. Don’t bag it – Never put recyclables in containers or bags. In fact, no connected or mixed materials can be recycled. When two or more materials are connected, like paper envelopes with plastic bubble wrap inside, the items can’t be recycled.
  4. When in doubt, throw it out – If you do not know if an item is recyclable and can’t easily find the answer, put the item in your trash bin. This eliminates the risk of contaminating an entire bin of recyclable items.

Flower Mound’s rate of contaminated recyclables has increased since the start of the pandemic. Let’s work together and try to bring it back down! For more information, please visit

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