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What Can You Recycle?

November 15, 2015


What can you recycle?

We all hear about the being green. There are many ways to do your part.

We all try to recycle. But, do you look for the proper symbols? Can everything really go in the bin?

We are all told to put plastic, aluminum and paper in a special can. But did you realize that just by mixing in say, a greasy pizza box can ruin your paper? So, it’s really important to understand what can and shouldn’t be put in your recycle bin.

My wife likes to put wood in the recycle can. Can’t argue with her logic either. Paper is made from wood. So, the basic ingredient has to be recyclable. So while paper, aluminum and steel are good for recycling, I’m not sure about wood. That is not to say you can’t recycle or repurpose wood. Just not from curb pick-up.

Here are some don’ts.

Shredded paper shouldn’t be put in the recycle bin. Sheets of paper can be recycled from 6 to 8 times. But, once you shred it, you shorten the fibers and most mills won’t accept it. So, don’t shred everything.

The same goes with brightly colored paper. Because it could ruin a batch of pulp, some places won’t take any of the paper if bright colors are mixed in. Stick with softer colors.

Another that may surprise you; are milk and juice cartons. They are rarely accepted and only about 18% are recycled. Paper coffee cups shouldn’t go in either. Or I should say; you should avoid using them. There is a thin polyethylene layer on them that makes them hard to recycle.

If you have soiled paper plates, or pizza boxes don’t put them in the recycle bin. Remember oil and water doesn’t mix. So again, all that paper makes its way to a landfill.

Plastic grocery bags are costly. They can be recycled however; they constantly get caught in the machines used to shred them. This in turn adds maintenance to the cost equation. This is another reason to use re-usable shopping bags.

The wrong plastic, look at the item you want to toss there is a number with the pointing arrow triangle. Most of the time plastic 1 – 7 is recyclable.

Bottle caps which are usually made of plastic number 5, polypropylene are recyclable. There was a time when you were asked to separate them.

And finally, broken glass should not be put in the bin. It’s too difficult and dangerous to sort out so it’s usually refined into something else but, it’s still not as effective.

So, think twice before you throw just anything into the recycle bin. For more information check out www.Earth .





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