Irving In-House Recycling Policy & Procedure

1. Statement on Irving Municipal Recycling

With the passage and signing of Texas State Senate Bill 1340 "government entity recycling" has been mandated in Texas, effective Sept. 1, 1993. This law requires state agencies, state courts and judicial agencies, university systems, institutions of higher education, counties, municipalities, school districts and special districts (with some hardship-case exemptions) to "establish a program for the separation and collection of all recyclable materials generated by the entity's operations, including, at a minimum, aluminum high-grade office paper, and corrugated cardboard."

It further requires affected government entities to provide containers for the materials, arrange for marketing those materials, evaluate the program and revise it as necessary to "ensure that all recyclable materials are effectively and practicably recycled, and establish educational and incentive programs to encourage maximum employee participation."

Following this edict, the actual solid waste generated should be at a minimum. It is the ultimate objective to have Irving municipality on a comprehensive recycling program. As new materials can be recycled and solid waste be further reduced, it will be recommended that revisions be made to these guidelines.

This recycling program requires the cooperation of staff as well as contracted services. The following pages identify the various materials which can presently be recycled in the City of Irving's municipal wide program, define the manner in which they must be prepared, and list the responsibilities of staff as well as contractor's personnel.

If you have any questions regarding this program and it's operation, please contact Solid Waste Services at ext. 8059.

Please reduce your waste first.....then recycle

1.1 Commonly Used Recycling Terms

Commingled Materials: Combining recyclables such as plastics, aluminum and steel cans together. Commingled materials require sorting after collection.

Single-stream: Recyclables (including plastics, cans and paper) mixed together. Single-streamed materials require sorting after collection.

MRF (Material Recovery Facility): A recycling operation that sorts materials by type, then cleans and compresses the recyclables before shipping them to processors.

HDPE: High-density polyethylene plastic #2, colored or opaque plastic used in milk jugs and laundry product bottles.

PETE or PET: Polyethylene terephthalate plastic #1, clear plastic used in soda and water bottles.

Mixed paper: A mixture of various grades of recyclable waste paper not limited by fiber content.

Corrugated cardboard: Also known as OCC, primarily boxes used for shipping containers and manufactured from a fluted paperboard.

2. Recycling at the Work Station

Every employee seated at a work station has been furnished with a 14 quart blue recycling bin, or larger, for collection of mixed office paper (including computer paper and a 7 quart gray trash bin. The goal is to maximize the usage of the recycling bins, there by reducing the use of a trash receptacle.

The custodial staff will empty all containers daily from the work station and will deposit the materials in the appropriate floor or building containers for recycling.

If you do not have these containers, contact Solids Waste Services at ext. 8059.

Refer to the descriptions in Section 4 "Materials to be recycled" regarding the materials you deal with on a daily basis.

3. Recycling in the Department

Each department has been furnished with containers which will house each work station's recyclables (i.e., at the computer work station and copier(s). These containers, generally located by the copiers, are usually 23 gallon blue Slim Jims. 50/90 gallon totes are available upon request for special circumstances such as office cleaning or file purging. Larger recycling containers/equipment are also disbursed throughout city facilities (generally in the building exterior or basement). Look for equipment marked Recycle Here.

Most buildings have collection containers specifically for the recycling of commingled items (refer to definition of commingled on page 1 for the list of acceptable commingled items). Employees may also place these items in their regular blue recycling containers (with the paper) only if the recyclables (cans, glass and plastic) are empty and clean of any liquid and food residual. Remember to remove all lids and rinse containers prior to recycling.

4. Materials to Be Recycled

The following materials will be accepted at all locations:

  • Mixed office paper
  • Comingled Recyclables
  • Corrugated Cardboard

4.1 Mixed office paper

Paper types such as white ledger and computer paper, scratch paper, bond paper, copy paper, copy paper wrappers, adding machine tape, fax paper, file folders, posters, NCR invoices, letterhead, legal and letter pads, stationery (any color), message pads, time cards, envelopes (plain and windowed), mail, direct (junk) mail, self-adhesive notes, tabulating cards, receipts, magazines and catalogs, boxboard/paperboard, hanging file folders, newspaper, advertising slicks, old telephone books.

Staples, rubber bands, paper clips, tape, adhesive labels, plastic tabs, Do not have to be removed. However, rubber bands and paper clips are reusable.

Unacceptable paper refers to paper types such as three-ring binders, hardbound books, acetate sheets, Tyvek (overnight envelopes), and photographs. Other nonrecyclables are:

  • kitchen wastes
  • food packaging (no pizza boxes or candy wrappers)
  • facial tissue
  • paper towels
  • tissue or wrapping paper
  • waxed paper
  • plastic foam (Styrofoam)

Avoid plastic foam and other disposables by using reusable dinnerware and coffee cups. Individual items with poly-shrink wrapping can be avoided by requesting minimal packaging and bulk buying.

 4.2 Commingled recyclables

Aluminum cans, steel food cans, glass bottles and jars, plastic food containers #1-#7 (excluding #6, plastic foam)

Refers to soft drink cans; small steel food cans, such as juice containers (no paint cans); glass bottles and jars (in limited quantities); and plastic food containers #1 - #7 (excluding #6, Styrofoam). You may place these containers in your regular desk-side blue recycling container ONLY if the commingled container (cans, glass, plastics) is empty of all liquids and food residual.

Otherwise, look for specially marked containers for recycling (i.e., can crushers are for crushing aluminum cans only. However, you may lift the lid and place the other commingled items in the can crusher base for recycling). Do not attempt to crush anything in the aluminum can crusher except for aluminum cans! Remember to remove all lids and rinse!

 4.3 Corrugated cardboard

Refers to boxes which are used in shipping of equipment or furniture, printer ink cartridges, computer, copy or other printing papers. It is further defined as the type that has a rippled layer between two layers of flat cardboard. Office supplies issued in boxboard containers with a gray lining are acceptable, but may be flattened and placed in the blue recycling containers with the paper.

Nonrecyclables are:

  • pizza boxes
  • waxed or coated boxes (generally referred to as "wet strength" boxes)

All nonrecyclables go into the wastebasket.

5. Recycling Special Materials

Includes cellphones, NiCad/rechargeable batteries, large metal items and printer cartridges.

  • Employees may recycle their personal cell phones by dropping them off at any of Irving's recycling drop-off centers, Best Buy or office supply stores.
  • NiCad/rechargeable batteries may be recycled at Batteries Plus at 2703 N. Beltline Rd., (972) 256-2073.
  • Large metal items may be recycled at Irvings Hunter Ferrell Landfill, 220 W. Hunter Ferrell Road or at the HVAC Building located in the yard off of Briery.
  • If your department uses Hewlett Packard ink jet/toner printer cartridges or others, be sure to read the packaging before tossing in the garbage. Many companies now have take back programs. Refer to the original box for a return label and instructions for recycling expired ink jet/toner cartridges.

Tip: Buy products that are easily recyclable. Once all has been done to reduce waste, recycle the materials that cannot be reused or avoided altogether.

6. Handling of Waste from Grounds Maintenance

The proper handling of yard debris such as grass, twigs, cuttings and leaves needs to be addressed. To set an example to the residents of Irving, the City must make every attempt to properly handle such types of materials in the most environmentally sensitive manner. The following should be regularly practiced in regards to yard debris within the municipal structure.

  • Utilize the "Don't Bag it" program:
    * Leave grass clippings on the grass!
    * Mow more frequently.
    * Water in the morning hours.
    * Use a slow release fertilizer.
  • Mulch or compost leaves and twigs.
  • Branches should be shredded and composted.
  • When fertilizing or controlling pests, 

7. Recycling of Automotive Materials

The Garage is equipped to collect and recycle such materials as automotive oil, oil filters, tires, lead acid batteries, and anti-freeze. Contracts have been established with outside sources to supply the necessary equipment needed to handle the recycling of these materials. An oil filter crusher(s) is in position at the Garage to accommodate the recycling of used oil filters. The crusher(s) allows for greater quantities of filters to be collected on site prior to off-site removal and recycling.

8. Responsibilities of Staff and Contractor

 8.1 Municipal staff

Each staff member of Irving's municipal government is requested to separate, prepare and dispose of the recyclable materials listed herein, in the manner and containers as discussed.

Staff cooperation in becoming familiar with these recyclable materials, the proper methods in which they must be prepared, and in which container they belong, will not only be greatly appreciated, but will ensure a successful program. If proper procedures are not followed, contamination occurs. Contamination of recyclables may result in rejection of the batch by the processor and disposed of in an area landfill.

Contamination occurs when food or liquid is left in a container or when non-recyclables are thrown in with the recycling.

Each department has a Recycling Facilitator (representative) available to assist in answering questions and/or receive comments regarding this program.

 8.2 Custodial Staff

Custodial and/or support staff in each building will empty recycling bins on a daily basis as well as retrieve flattened corrugated cardboard (each department is responsible for flattening cardboard before collection). The recyclables will then be placed in the appropriate receptacles.

 8.3 Collections and Processing of Recyclables

Solid Waste Services is now providing collection of all city facility external recycling containers. The City of Irving has contracted with an outside entity to provide processing of collected recyclables.

9. Closing the Loop and Buying Recycled Products

Preference should be given to the purchase of products made from recycled materials. Examples of products commonly available and made of post-consumer content are office copy paper, letterhead, business cards, envelopes, forms, file folders, pencils, file boxes, packing materials, concrete, road materials such as asphalt, and reflectors, residential garbage bags, and much more. Per Chapter 361.426 of the Solid Waste Disposal Act of the Texas Health and Safety Code, the following is stated regarding the purchase of products made from recycled materials:

Thank you for participating in the City of Irving's municipal recycling program!