What Items Can I Recycle?

Garbage removal

Ever go into a restaurant or store to enjoy a great meal, only to find that when you’re ready to throw away your food, you don’t know what item should go where in the recycling bin? The same probably goes for when you are at the park and see recycle bins. Can my wet plastic bottle be recycled? Is this bag that held my trail mix snack safe to throw in here? Recycling can be a little difficult to understand for people just beginning. This also can be confusing when you’re in your first apartment or just decided to start recycling at home.

Recycling does wonders for the environment. By reusing the same materials, we are not throwing more items that cannot be broken down in landfills across the nation. On average, it costs $30 per ton to recycle trash and $50 per ton to send it to a landfill, which means recycling helps to reduce costs and helps the earth at the same time. Many cities are offering recycling programs alongside its garbage pickup service.

We are breaking down materials like plastic and paper and finding ways to reuse them. Even if you are not recycling old bottles and plastic bags right now, you can start recycling by just reusing some of the items you have. For example, instead of throwing away that plastic container that your meal came in (some food delivery services like FitLife Foods use plastic containers with lids that are safe for use in the microwave) to store another meal. The same goes for not throwing away bags from the grocery store, but instead, reusing the plastic bags as a lunch tote to take your food to work.

If you’re looking to recycle your trash, here are a few things to know.

Paper

Some paper products can go together, while others need to be separated for recycling/garbage pickup. Some are not really allowed at all and cannot be recycled. For example, plastic-lined paper drink cartons are recyclable, however, fast food wrappers made from plastic, dirty or food-stained paper tissues or napkins are not. Any old newspaper should be kept in a separate bin because that paper is reused to make newsprint. Staples can be in the paper, that’s alright, but be sure to remove rubber bands and plastic wrap. Carbon paper, stickers, cardboard, laminated paper, laminated cardboard should not be recycled.

Plastic

Plastic items all have numbers, which dictate how recyclable they are. These numbers include #1 (PET) and #2 (HDPE) for containers, and #4 (LDPE) for bags. There is another number, #7, for mixed plastics such as polycarbonates, but these are not recyclable. #5 is a kind of plastic used for packaging dairy items such as yogurt, cottage cheese, margarine, and also used to package vitamins, and is one of the least recyclable kinds of plastics. The name of this plastic is Polypropylene.

Glass

If you’re looking to recycle some of the waste in your home, you might be wondering how to get rid of glass. Can it be recycled? Yes, and to make it easier, glass is generally divided into three different categories: clear, green, and brown. You can recycle bottles with label on them (such as a Coke glass!), but please, do not put lightbulbs, sheet glass, mirrors and pyrex in the same container as bottles as they melt at different temperatures. Putting them aside will help waste management decide where they need to go.

Pretty much every city has trash removal, and many are starting recycling programs. You can call your local representative and ask for more information about garbage pickup and recycling if you have any questions.

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