Sorting recyclables probably isn't the highlight of your day, but a little extra attention can save money and ensure Laramie's recyclables don't cost so much to sort and reuse.

The City of Laramie says on its website that the value of recyclables shipped to market in the last cycle fell due to the contamination rate. As the value falls, Laramie must pay more to send recyclables to the regional recycler/sorter.

No specific information on the cost increase was available Monday morning.

But the city is reminding folks to make sure these commonly mistaken items don't show up in recycling carts and bins:

  • Shredded paper -- Small strips of paper will clog and damage sorting equipment.
  • Glass -- Glass can break as recyclables are picked up and moved. If the shards become embedded in paper and cardboard, they could potentially contaminate an entire load.
  • Plastic grocery bags -- The entire recycling line has to be shut down if bags get stuck in the sorter. However, most local grocery stores have recycle containers specifically for plastic bags.
  • Pizza boxes -- Grease and cheese soak into the cardboard and contaminate it, so keep pizza boxes out of the recycling bin.
  • Styrofoam -- Single-stream recycling facilities are not equipped with the specialized machinery required to recycle styrofoam, so it's a no-go in recycling bins around the Gem City.
  • Bagged recyclables -- Don't bag your recyclables. Bags get thrown away because workers don't have time to open and sort every bag.

Again, all of the items listed above cannot be recycled at the curb.

The city also asks that people remove lids, rings and labels from plastics and cans. And give those containers a rinse. The cleaner our recyclables, the more they're worth -- and the less we pay.

Click here to print a small poster containing these helpful tips to display in your home or garage.

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