A friend says that they don't have to use the red Rogue Disposal co-mingled recycling can because Rogue Disposal staffs people to sort through the garbage and separate trash from recyclables. I say they are wrong and that if it goes into the trash can, it goes into the landfill. Who's right?

A friend says that they don't have to use the red Rogue Disposal co-mingled recycling can because Rogue Disposal staffs people to sort through the garbage and separate trash from recyclables. I say they are wrong and that if it goes into the trash can, it goes into the landfill. Who's right?

— G.P., Medford

G.P., you should have sent your friend's name along with your question, so we could have reported him or her to the recycling police. Boy, is your friend wrong!

While there are some trash companies across the country that pluck recyclables out of their customers' garbage can, Rogue Disposal & Recycling Inc. is not one of them, said Denise Wolgamott, the company's recycling coordinator.

"We don't have the staff to sort through the garbage," Wolgamott said.

Hence, if your friend has been so rash as to place recyclables in the trash, those are now likely in a landfill.

Wolgamott spends most of her days educating people on what can and can't be recycled, so she has a little more compassion for your friend than the rule-abiding recyclers here at Since You Asked Sustainability Central. She said your friend's confusion may have resulted from hearing that Rogue Disposal sorts the recyclables thrown in the red co-mingle bin. Everything in the co-mingle bin is sent to an automatic sorting facility, where newspapers, plastic bottles and so on are separated and sold to companies that can use that particular material.

Everything in the trash bin goes into the landfill.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to youasked@mailtribune.com.