This or That? What You Need to Know About Recyclable Items

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

It’s a simple idea, but many of us don’t realize the delicate process that recyclable items go through after you throw them in the bin. When we’re uneducated about the recycling process, it makes it easier for us to try and recycle things that shouldn’t be recycled.

Every little bit helps, and a few tweaks here and there to your recycling routine can make a big difference in the quality of your recycling.

Keep reading to learn what you can and can’t recycle and why it matters.

Yes, Ma’am! Toss That Here

Let’s take a closer look at the items you can recycle. You might be surprised!

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Metal and Cans

Anything that once had a food or beverage in it and is made of metal can be recycled. This includes tin, steel, and aluminum cans and bottles.

Also included in the metal category are disposable metal baking tins that you use for cakes and pies. You can recycle aerosol cans as long as they’re empty. You can even recycle tin and aluminum foil.

Paper and Cardboard

If it’s made of paper, it better be in your recycling bin. This includes uncolored paper like newspapers and paper grocery bags. It also includes colored paper, like newspaper inserts, magazines, and old calendars.

Paperback books can be recycled (or better yet, donate these items). You can also recycle most office supplies like notebook paper, manila envelopes, regular envelopes, index cards, and letterhead.

Many people don’t realize that they can also recycle cardboard. This includes all types of shipping boxes, dry food and cereal boxes, shoe boxes, tissue boxes, and detergent boxes. Pizza boxes are also okay to recycle as long as they are very clean.

Plastic

Acceptable plastic items include water, soda, and juice bottles, milk cartons, and detergent bottles. You can also recycle old plastic food containers. Any plastic item in your kitchen is usually okay to be recycled except plastic bags (more on that in a bit).

Glass, Sometimes

Check with your local recycling place about glass. In recent years, glass has become harder and more expensive to recycle and many places won’t take glass any longer.

If your recycling company does take a glass, it should be food jars (without the lids) and any type of liquid bottle. This includes any of the glass you could find in your kitchen or liquor cabinet.

No, Sir! Don’t Recycle That

We’ve covered all the recycling “dos”, now let’s take a look at the recycling “don’ts”. Pay special attention to this section because many of these items are things we think we can recycle but really aren’t eligible.

Anything Dirty

That’s right folks, you need to clean out your cans, bottles, and plastic containers before you toss them in the recycling bin. Unless you have same-day rubbish removal, you know how disgusting spoiled food is. Recycling centers may need to trash your entire load if there is spoiled food inside the containers.

Plastic Bags

Unfortunately, we aren’t at the place yet where we can recycle plastic bags. This includes all types of garbage and grocery bags. If you currently bag up your recycled items before you throw them in the bin, stop that practice now.

Non-Kitchen Stuff

Almost everything in your kitchen can be recycled, but the rest of your home is another story. Anything electronic can’t go in the recycling bin including televisions, computers, printers, cell phones, chargers, and cords.

Styrofoam is a no-no as well. This means any type of styrofoam packing material or even food containers made from styrofoam. Never recycle things like paint cans, construction scraps, and yard waste.

Learn More About Recyclable Items In Your Area

Recycling is different in every area. Check with your recycling provider to find out the specifics of what recyclable items they accept.

And check out our Lifestyle section for more tips and tricks on how to stay happy and healthy!

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