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Dhruvika writes on sustainable practices in various sectors for BuzzOnEarth. Get in touch with her at dhruvika@buzzonearth.com. Sometimes she reads her emails too.

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The city of Albuquerque, New Mexico in the U.S is launching a new campaign “Recycle Right ABQ” with an online app ‘Recycle Coach’ to educate and help people in determining what goes inside the recycling bin and what should not.

One of the main challenges in recycling is the lack of proper segregation of waste. Citizens are repeatedly told by the authorities to recycle their waste but do not put efforts in educating them about the waste segregation. Albuquerque’s campaign aims to bridge the education gap and let residents and businesses know what belongs in blue recycle carts and teal bins.

“Recycling Right is now more important than ever before,” Matthew Whelan, director of the Solid Waste Management Department, said in a statement. “Through this campaign, we are encouraging residents and businesses to know what goes into their blue recycle carts and bins. We need the community’s help to make sure we are doing everything we can to recycle cleaner materials and improve recycling in our city.”

Things that should not go into the blue recycle carts but usually end up inside it are food waste, trash, plastic bags, tanglers (ropes and hoses), bubble wrap, textiles, Styrofoam and household hazardous waste.

About 29-percent of what’s put in recycle bins is actually trash. That’s more than 20 million pounds of trash going into recycling bins in the city each year.

“Over the last year we recycled over 78 million pounds of recyclables,” Whelan added.

‘Recycle coach’ app allows users to ask the question about what can go into the blue cart.  For example, residents can type in the word “potato chip bag” in the app’s search function and find out whether it is recyclable, which is “no” in this case.

These simple solutions can work wonders in combating big problems and boost sustainable habits. If people start becoming more aware about the impact they can make by simply adopting a habit of responsibly segregating their waste now, slowly it will become a norm and common knowledge.

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