If I saw someone digging through my recycling I'd probably be weirded out and wonder if it was the police or some kind  of private investigator trying to dig up some dirt... but I also watch too much crime TV.

Starting this month, you might see someone inspecting your recycling at the curb, and it's not because you're under investigation (well, probably not anyway) -- it's a program the City of Grand Rapids is launching to help reduce the amount of contaminated recyclables circulating in the system, MLive reports.

Basically, "curbside inspectors"- with City of Grand Rapids identification- are going to be checking that we're not attempting to recycle things that we shouldn't.

Don't worry, you won't get a ticket or anything, but the inspectors will leave a sticker on your bin instructing you on how you can improve your recycling habits.

The City says "The Recycling Partnership’s Feet on the Street" cart-tagging recycling campaign will start in mid-September with community-wide education and outreach initiatives continuing through mid-November:

The nationally acclaimed Feet on the Street program is intended to increase the amount of quality recyclables – items that are accepted for recycling that are clean, empty and dry. Achieving that quality standard in recycled materials ensures they can circulate back in the recycling system to become new products or packaging while also reducing the amount of nonrecyclables in recycling bins.

Grand Rapids residents can expect to get a postcard in the mail this week explaining more about the program and what should and should not be recycled.

So what's OK to recycle? Paper, cartons, cardboard, metal items such as cans, plastic bottles, jars and jugs, as well as glass bottles and jars.

What should we avoid attempting to recycle? Plastic bags or plastic wrap, “tanglers” such as cords, hoses or chains, yard waste, food, shredded paper and liquids.

You can find more on what is and what isn't acceptable recycling material here.

Why is improving our recycling habits important? Well, reducing our waste overall can have a positive impact on our environment. When we don't properly separate our recyclables, the load gets redirected to the Kent County Waste to Energy Facility to be burned. Being better recyclers can also help businesses get materials to make the essential products Michigan needs for our economic recovery from COVID-19-- like toilet paper, food containers, and shipping boxes.

Managing Director of Public Services James Hurt said in a statement,

“Recycling is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do – and this program furthers our strategic priority of health and environment. This helps us minimize waste generation and promote waste diversion practices by improving the quality and amount of recycling we collect. We know our residents want to recycle the right way. Through the Feet on the Street campaign, we can provide them customized immediate feedback to do just that.”

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