This April marks the 49th annual Earth Month. Each year, there are many events in central Ohio that encourage environmental stewardship, and this year is no exception.

However, one of the most impactful ways residents can have a positive impact on our planet is in their own homes -- through responsible recycling.

In 2018, Rumpke and city of Dublin crews collected nearly 23,000 tons of material, including trash, recycling, yard waste, electronic waste and leaves.

About 51 percent of that material went to the Franklin County Landfill and 49 percent was diverted for recycling and composting. We would like that diversion rate to be higher.

We know recycling is something most Dublin residents are committed to doing and doing correctly. Unfortunately, some mistakes people make can hinder their recycling efforts.

At our request, Rumpke Waste and Recycling conducted an audit of Dublin's recycling stream last month and discovered a 10 percent contamination rate.

Overwhelmingly, plastic film and plastic bags caused the majority of contamination.

Plastic bags are not recyclable at the Rumpke Material Facility and can disrupt the recycling process. Many retailers offer bag-recycling collections at their stores.

Other contamination issues include paper coffee cups, yogurt containers, margarine tubs and pizza boxes with food contamination or grease-soaked lids. Please discard these items with your trash.

Contamination raises the cost of the recycling process, which ultimately affects the contracted price for trash and recycling services for the city.

The lower the contamination rate, the better opportunity we have to negotiate lower rates.

To educate customers, Rumpke mails informational fliers each year. Recycling information is also included on the City of Dublin's website, DublinOhioUSA.gov.

In addition to proper recycling, we would like to encourage our residents to join us for community events this Earth Month, including:

* April 20, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. -- Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day at Ashland, 5200 Blazer Pkwy.

* April 22, 9 a.m. to noon -- Invasive species removal and native species planting at Scioto Park.

* April 27, 9 a.m. to noon -- Arbor Day neighborhood event at the Llewellyn Farms Park Gazebo, 4850 Tuttle Rd.

I encourage you to visit DublinOhioUSA.gov/EarthMonth to learn more and get involved.

Here is a quick recycling reference guide:

Recycle these -- Glass bottles and jars; metal cans; plastic bottles; newspapers; magazines; cardboard; mixed office paper and envelopes; cereal boxes; pizza boxes free of food debris and grease; telephone books and catalogs; food and beverage cartons; milk cartons; juice cartons; soup, wine, broth and other cartons.

Do not recycle these -- Plastic bags; cassette tapes; bed sheets; hangers; metal chains; garden hoses; batteries; needles and syringes; electronics; polystyrene foam; buckets; butter tubs; car parts; food; yard waste; light bulbs; drinking glasses; ceramics; pots, pans and scrap metal.

Michael Darling, operations administrator for Dublin's Street & Utilities Operations, submitted the City Notes column.