What You Can and Can’t Recycle

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#

Comments

  1. Great guide. I would add a few things to this list, things that many people do not realize you can actually recycle and help the environment. The first is old cars that leak and guzzle gas and have high emissions. Any scrap yard or a business like planetjunkcars.com will give you cash for it and recycle it in an environmentally responsible fashion. Also you can also recycle old machinery, and electronics. you can visit your local scrap yard and see what the rates are for the materials on that day as they fluctuate but request for it to be specifically recycled and you can get rid of old stuff while helping the environment while getting paid. Thank you for the guide.

Speak Your Mind

*