By: Cory Groshek
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Effective immediately, our List of Acceptable and Not Acceptable Materials (which can be viewed and downloaded at www.GBCompost.com/List) has been updated, for the second time this week, due, in part, to feedback we received on the last update we made to it, as well as to correspond with a MAJOR UPDATE we have just made to our paper/cardboard policy.
PLEASE DELETE AND/OR DESTROY ANY PREVIOUS COPIES OF THE LIST YOU MAY POSSESS AND REPLACE WITH OUR NEW ONE.
The most major changes to the List today have to do with our new policy on paper and cardboard items:
First and foremost, what most people would consider cardboard (the “corrugated” kind, with air pockets built into it) is now on the Not Acceptable side of the list. As such, cardboard is effectively banned by us.
We have made the decision to ban cardboard for several reasons, chief among them being that a significant percentage of the cardboard we have been receiving as of late has been contaminated with tape, unacceptable chemical-based glues, and small pieces of styrofoam.
Going forward, we recommend all our subscribers recycle their cardboard in the recycling bins provided by their Municipality, landlord, or private waste hauler.
Secondly, with regard to paper, we are moving to a very specific list of plain/matte paper items we will accept, which includes only the following items:
We are limiting our acceptance of paper to the above items for several reasons. Most notably, we would like to focus, going forward, on composting paper items that are not traditionally recyclable (or accepted by our Brown County recycling authorities), such as greasy/food-soiled items or items with non-recyclable paper (such as toilet paper or paper towels) stuck to them. Secondarily, we would like to focus on composting paper items that are the easiest for us to process and which pose the lowest risk of contamination to our compost.
PLEASE NOTE: As before, we are still not accepting any paper that is shiny/glossy (meaning it has been coated with petroleum-based chemicals).
Also, as a reminder, we are still not accepting any paper that falls into the wax, “baking”/parchment, or “non-stick” category, including, but not limited to, butter wrappers or cupcake/muffin liners (even if they appear to the naked eye to be “plain” or “matte”).
We are also still not accepting receipts, which are made of toxic “thermal paper” (which is made with the chemical known as BPA).
Accordingly, we ask that our subscribers remove any of the above, Not Acceptable paper they may find attached to or inside of the paper items we will accept, prior to placing acceptable items in their Greener Bay Compost buckets.
To make compliance with our new paper and cardboard policy as easy as possible, we recommend that all subscribers assume their paper or cardboard items are Not Acceptable, unless they specifically find them listed on the Acceptable side of our updated List.
Regarding other changes we’ve just made to our List (which are really just minor clarifications), we have:
In conclusion, we would like to state that our paper/cardboard policy change is not a “knee-jerk decision” on our part and has been in consideration for many months now.
A major driver behind this change is our ongoing desire to make our program as simple as possible for both us and our subscribers. We also have a strong desire to combat contamination, protect the quality of the compost we produce, make our work more efficient, keep our operational costs down, and keep our prices as low as possible for our subscribers.
PLEASE NOTE: For the purposes of our Waste Reduction Rewards Program (www.GBCompost.com/Rewards), and from now through the end of April 2023, we will not be considering buckets “contaminated” (or giving zero credit for the weight of their contents) simply because they may contain a paper/cardboard item we were accepting of just prior to this most recently policy change. That said, we will begin enforcing our new paper/cardboard policy strictly with regard to any buckets we pick up on or after 5/1/2023. Accordingly, if any buckets we pick up on or after this date are found to contain Not Acceptable paper or cardboard items, they will be considered “contaminated” and the subscriber providing them to us will receive no weight-based credit for the contents of such buckets.
If there is any confusion about our updated List or our new paper/cardboard policies, or if there are any questions or concerns about them, subscribers are strongly encouraged to Contact Us with their questions/concerns, and we will respond promptly.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to make our program (and our company) better for you every day! We really appreciate it.
Until next time, best wishes and happy composting!