Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – seems simple right? But, when it comes to figuring out what goes in the trash and what goes in the recycling bin, it can get a little confusing from time to time. And yet, it is so important!
Did you know that we discard over 33 million tons of plastic every year, however, only 9% of that is recycled?! Think about this, when one ton of plastic bottles is recycled, almost four barrels of oil are saved! This also helps save natural resources, reduce greenhouse gases, pollution and more!
Each city is different when it comes to recycling. Make sure to check if there are local options near you for recycling types of glass, plastic or other materials that aren’t commonly recycled but could be in your area.
- Take a look at the recycling symbol and make sure to only recycle plastics numbered one, two, four, or five – these are the most commonly accepted plastics (for examples: bottles and jugs are usually made with these types of plastic)
- Make sure to rinse all containers until they’re spotless — these would include plastic juice/milk jugs, yogurt containers, sour cream containers, etc.
- Always separate lids from jars, bottles, and cartons so the containers can be easily crushed during recycling.
- Fold and Flatten your cardboard such as cereal, shoe, packing and good boxes. They should be no more than one meter long or 2 ft by 2ft.
- Only recycle glass bottles and jars. Never put vases, window glass or even drinking glasses in your recycling!
- Don’t put used pizza boxes in the recycling bin. Yes, cardboard goes in the paper bin, but the pizza already contaminated it with grease, cheese, and other toppings when it was inside (it’s ok pizza we forgive you).
- Don’t recycle food, it is compostable, but not recyclable. Make sure your food cans, bottles, and containers are rinsed clean before putting them into the recycling bin.
- Don’t put yard waste in the recycling. Just like food yard waste isn’t recyclable, neither is yard waste.
- A lot of places don’t accept plastics numbered three, six, and seven, but be sure to double check with your local recycling place since some do accept all types of plastic.
And more important, never put trash in the recycling! Just a few pieces of non-recyclable garbage can make the recycling plant deem an entire load as “trash.”
Recycling is one of the easier ways we can help the environment. Just make sure you follow these dos and don’ts and you’ll be able to make an everlasting impact by recycling!
To go one step further you should always try to avoid waste when you can. Instead of buying water in plastic bottles from the store, get a reusable bottle to use every day.
And make sure to take your tote bag to the supermarket to avoid throwaway plastic bags. There are many ways to avoid producing too much waste. And for everything else, there is this guide.
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