What You Can and Can’t Recycle

Paper Recycling Bin

I remember when I was in middle school our county started a curbside pick-up for recyclables for those within city limits. I thought it was such a neat thing until I found out that there were many things we couldn’t recycle. Although most places seem to accept more now, there are still some restrictions and that causes people not to recycle. People want it to be easy. They don’t want to think about what is ok to recycle, rinse stuff out, and remove labels.

Once you are familiar with what is acceptable it really isn’t that much effort. As for the rinsing and removing, we tend to set things aside during the day and just do all that at one time at night. It doesn’t take much time. Although I will admit I don’t always do great with removing labels. Keep in mind you can’t recycle anything with food residue such as a pizza box.  Now what can you recycle? We’ll take a quick look at that.

Paper Recycling BinPaper
According to the EPA, paper accounts for the largest portion of our trash. Most paper products can be recycled. Paper, cardboard, and mail are some common things you can put in your bin. Glossy paper such as magazines is accepted at most places, but not all. Our local drop-off doesn’t accept hardback books.

 

 

Recycling Logo

Plastics
Plastic containers have a triangle made of three chasing arrows with a number inside indicating what type of plastic it is. They are labelled No. 1 through No.7. The most common types are No.1 and No.2 and should be accepted at most facilities. Some common products using these numbers are water bottles and salad dressing. You will need to check with your county to see if they accept any other numbers. Our county will accept everything except Styrofoam  Plastic bags are usually not accepted but many grocery stores will take them. Our local Wal-mart has a drop-off at the entrance.

 

Stack of Crushed Cans

Aluminum and Steel
Aluminum and steel products are widely accepted, including soda cans and aluminum foil. Our local county drop-off will even accept aerosol cans if they have been emptied and cleaned.

 

 

 

Colorful Bottles

Glass
Glass recycling is surprisingly restrictive. Most places will only accept food or beverage containers, cleaned and without the lids. Many curbside drop-off services will not take glass since it can break in transport. Light-bulbs, mirrors, and ceramic dishes are common household items that cannot be recycled.

 

 

Another thing to remember is your county run recycling center will probably accept more items than a simple bin drop-off at a small location. We usually take our recyclables to a drop-off center but we can only take glass, aluminum, and paper. Our county-run drop off will accept much more. Visit www.Earth911.com for more information and to find your local recycling center.

 

Sources: Earth911.com

http://greenliving.nationalgeographic.com/something-can-recycled-3194.html#

Pros and Cons of Using Eco Friendly Products

You are probably somewhat familiar with eco-friendly products that can help to reduce toxic wastes and prevent environmental pollution. If you start thinking about the advantages of using such products, you can come up with countless reasons for why to use them. The main benefits are saving money and energy, as well as reducing harmful chemicals. However, living a green life isn’t perfect.  Let us discuss a few advantages and disadvantages of using eco-friendly products in our daily life.

Pros of Using Eco- friendly Products

Pollution Reduction – Of course, this is the most well- known and biggest advantage of using such products. They help you reduce the amount of toxic wastes and non-degradable substances on the planet which means less pollution. Imagine all those plastic bottles and similar items that won’t disintegrate getting eliminated totally from the face of earth. Some ways to help with this are using a filter on your tap water and using cloth diapers instead of disposables.

Personal health – Plastic substances and such other items we use can produce many health issues, due to the chemicals present in them, right from the time of manufacture to the time it becomes an end product. Switching to eco-friendly items can eliminate this fear and make your lives greener and fresher. Look for items that don’t contain BPA, phthalates, and other harmful chemicals.

Long term savings – If you are looking for some savings in the long run, then eco-friendly products are a good way to go. Many of them are also quite energy efficient. Products like solar panels and electric or hybrid cars can save you a lot on energy costs. Something as simple as switching out your incandescent bulbs with CFL or LED bulbs can help save money with reduced energy consumption and you won’t have to replace them as often.    

Cons of Using Eco-friendly Products

Now that we have discussed the pros of using these products, let’s get into the cons of using them.

Limited availability – The first and foremost problem you may face when looking for eco-friendly products is where to find them. Finding the best eco-friendly products that can suit your requirements may not be such an easy job. Sometimes you have to go to smaller stores or online to find products that are eco-friendly.

Initial Cost – In the case of bigger eco-friendly products like the solar panel or the electric or hybrid car, you may find that the initial cost needed to buy them would be far more compared to a normal mass market product. This can act as a hindrance if you are on a low budget, but this doesn’t necessarily apply to smaller products or for those people who are prepared to spend more to make green changes in their life.

Implementation-It can be hard to make changes to your routine. The intention to go green is much easier than actually doing so. It’s best to start with small changes, such as changing light bulbs or buying reusable shopping bags instead of using plastic.

Also many people are now realizing the cost-savings for going green in many aspects of their lives, and with more and more eco-friendly products coming to market, it will get easier and less expensive.

Though you know the cons clearly now, buying eco friendly products can be a small change of lifestyle if you are ready to go the extra mile to leave a green world for your children.