With spring being just around the corner, many of us start to get into a “spring cleaning” mood. Once you start going through your items and think about recycling some things you may not know what is and isn’t recyclable. It’s tempting to just stick it in your curbside bin and hope for the best. Maybe it will make it to where it needs to go to be recycled or maybe it won’t, but at least you tried…right? Let’s stop the madness with “wish cycling.”
In order to keep the cycle of recycling in order, we need to do what we can to keep the system strong. When we know what we can and can’t recycle curbside, we increase the productivity of recycling facilities by decreasing the time they have to spend sifting through materials that aren’t allowed and disposing of them. Become a responsible recycler and avoid recycling these items curbside.
We’ve discussed a few times in our Trash Talk Blog about how evil plastic bags are. Plastic bags are recyclable, but they are not to be put in a curbside bin! Bags can be taken to some local stores for drop off. Check with your surrounding stores to see where you can drop off your used bags! One way to avoid that hassle is to use reusable bags.
I know what you are thinking. You’re being super organized and separating your recyclables into bags so it’s easier for the workers to sort or maybe you don’t have a bin. When you put recyclables in a plastic bag, it gets tossed in a landfill. It is OK though to use an open paper bag for recyclables.
Don’t throw food scraps in your curbside recycling bin. The best method would be to compost it yourself or take it to a community compost bin. Along with food, do not throw overly gross food covered items into your curbside bin. There can be some on your recyclables, but avoid chunks of things and just generally gross food residue.
For this item, I am referring to chip bags, baby food pouches, candy wrappers, or any other related thing. Make sure you check the recycling label on your bag, but almost all of these are made with many layers of materials and are not recyclable. This is something you need to toss in the trash.
Any electronic item you own, do not even think about putting it in the recycling bin. Check for local takeback or drop off recycling programs for electronics.
Batteries are something we use on a daily basis. When trying to figure out what you can and can’t recycle it may become confusing. No batteries should ever go in a curbside bin. Check out our battery disposal blog post to learn more!