Dumping recyclable cups (when you forgot your own, or it's dirty) in the public recycle bins seems like an easy decision.
But, I've noticed that the recycle bins at places like Starbucks are absolutely stocked with normal trash. I watch people dump their cups, lids, soiled napkins, and straws in whichever bin is closest to them.
Our public utility tells us that even a small amount of non-recyclable waste mixed with recyclables can ruin the batch (or cause it all to be dumped in the landfill).
With that in mind, is it actually useful to put recyclable cups in these recycle bins?
I have to admit that I've begun just taking my cups home with me, and recyling there, where I'm confident of their fate.
But, is this a good decision? Does anyone have information on how much of these consumer recyclables actually get recycled? Possibly someone who's worked at places like Starbucks, or at a recycling facility that accepts commercial recycling, could comment.
It would be nice not to have to trust the stores' statements that they're taking steps to be green.
Note: I am in the US, and I can see that maybe this underlying misbehaviour by the customers is a somewhat localized phenomenon. If that's the case, then I guess my question is about the US (but, I certainly welcome global feedback!)