AUSTIN, Texas — Recent studies show a residential recycling contamination rate of nearly 20%, meaning nearly a fifth of all the items in Austin's blue recycling carts were either trash or not able to be recycled at the facility.

On Friday, Austin Resource Recovery (ARR) will raise awareness about the problems with contamination in Austin's residential recycling streams for America Recycles Day.

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ARR said items that get intertwined in the gears of machinery, such as plastic bags, garden hoses, textiles, rope and other flexible materials, are some of the most troublesome contaminants. When these types of contaminants get caught in the gears, it stalls operations and can create dangerous safety hazards for employees.

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ARR said other common contaminants are food, Styrofoam and wood. It suggests Austinites use the "What Do I Do With..." tool on its website to learn how they can properly dispose of unwanted items.

WATCH: What can and can't be recycled in Austin?

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