What You Can and Cannot Recycle (Dos & Don'ts)

If you're like most people, you probably recycle without giving it much thought. However, there are actually a few dos and don'ts when it comes to recycling that you should be aware of.

Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that have been used in the production of goods and turning them into new products. It helps to conserve natural resources, reduce energy consumption, and decrease the amount of waste that is sent to landfills.

Basically, the recycling process is a way for us to reduce our impact on the planet's resources and help to reduce waste.

By following these simple guidelines, you can help to ensure that your recycling efforts are as effective as possible.

The Dos of Recycling

Do rinse out your bottles and cans before recycling them. Empty bottles and cans can often harbor bacteria, which can contaminate other recyclables. To avoid this, simply give them a quick rinse with some soap and water before putting them in the recycle bin.

Do recycle paper products, including newspapers, magazines, office paper, envelopes, and more.

Do recycle plastic bottles, jugs, and containers. Make sure to rinse them out first!

Do recycle aluminum cans. Again, make sure to rinse them out first.

Do recycle glass bottles and jars. No need to rinse these out.

The Don'ts of Recycling

Don't recycle styrofoam or plastic foam (often labeled with the numbers 6 or 7). This includes styrofoam coffee cups, take-out containers, packing peanuts, and more.

Don't recycle greasy pizza boxes or other food-soiled paper products. This includes paper towels, napkins, disposable diapers, and wax paper.

Don't recycle light bulbs or mirrors.

Don't recycle plastic bags in your home recycling bin but many grocery stores have collection bins for plastic bags and film. You can also reuse plastic bags or get eco-friendly shopping bags.

Don't recycle hangers or wire coat hangers.

Don't put electronics or hazardous materials in the recycle bin. Items like batteries, light bulbs, and chemicals should never be put in your home recycle bin. Contact your local waste management company to find out how to properly dispose of these items.

Don't recycle medical waste.

Remember that recycling guidelines can vary depending on your location and the recycling facilities available in your area. It's always a good idea to check with your local recycling program to find out what can and cannot be recycled in your community.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know the recycling dos and don'ts, put this knowledge into practice! Every little bit helps when it comes to saving the environment. Do your part by recycling properly.

By following these simple recycling dos and don'ts, you can help to ensure that your recyclables are properly processed and that they don't end up contaminating other materials. And remember, when in doubt, check with your local waste management company to find out the best way to dispose of certain items.

If you found this article helpful, check out our 5 Rs of Zero Waste piece for an even deeper explanation of the recycling process and how it fits into sustainable living!


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