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Baltimore's Department Of Public Works Launches New Recycling Campaign

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- The Baltimore City Department of Public Works wants to make it easier for people to tell the difference between the items they should or should not be putting in their recycling bin.

A new effort, known as "Feet on the Street," will help Baltimoreans divvy up their trash properly.

As part of that effort, sanitation workers will be checking recycling containers in neighborhoods where they have observed high amounts of contamination over the next two months.

"This campaign is designed to help residents understand what goes in our recycling cart and what goes in our municipal green trash can," Jennifer Combs, a spokesperson for the Baltimore City Department of Public Works, said.

And if sanitation workers do find things like plastic bags, food-covered items, paper towels, Styrofoam, carryout containers, or electrical cords in a recycle bin, they'll leave behind an informational tag.

"And this tag will provide residents with instant feedback on what's happening and give them the tools and the education to recycle better," Combs said.

This same program has been implemented in other communities around the country . . . with some seeing as much as a 57% decrease in non-recyclable items ending up in the recycling bin.

This is important because contaminated items can increase the city's recycling processing costs and it can cause equipment jams at its facilities, which is a major hazard for workers.

"If you've got too many wraps from your local dry cleaner, sorry, don't 'wish cycle' it," Combs said. "When in doubt, throw it out."

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