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How to recycle correctly

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!

 

Recycling benefits the environment but also you!

 

Plastic

✔️ Aluminum, plastic bottles, cans, plastic containers, lids from glass jars and bottles, spray bottles

Do – Best practices for recycling correctly

  • Separate different types of material. Even if everything goes in the same bin, always separate aluminum lids from yogurt containers, caps from bottles, etc. This makes the recycling process easier and more efficient.
  • Clean as well as you can. Leftover food can make containers heavier which makes it more difficult for the machines to recognize the different kinds of materials. 
  • Always empty spray bottles (hairspray, deodorant, air fresheners, etc.) before throwing them out. The chemicals can harm the rest of the recycled plastic.

Don’t – These things don’t go in the plastic recycling:

  • Old toys, toothbrushes, combs and hairbrushes, razors. They are made from different types of plastic and cannot be recycled in the same way. They go in the general waste bin or designated local recycling stations.
  • Coffee capsules. The coffee rests are very difficult to separate from the plastic in the recycling machines. Some stores will take them back and recycle them for you. Otherwise, dispose of them in the trash.

 

Paper

✔️ Clean paper and cardboard, old magazines and newspapers

Do – Best practices for recycling correctly

  • Fold and Flatten your cardboard such as cereal and shoe boxes. They should be no more than one meter long or 2 ft by 2ft.

Don’t – These things don’t go in the paper recycling:

  • Greasy paper and cartons in the paper bin. Used pizza boxes and the likes cannot be recycled in the same process as clean paper and cardboard boxes. Throw them in the general waste or the organic bin if they were used for food. The same goes for used paper towels.
  • Laminated paper, juice cartons. They are covered in a plastic film and therefore go in the plastic bin.
  • Paper wrappings for cheese or meats. These contain different materials that can’t be recycled with the rest of the paper and cartons and go in the trash.
  • Thermal paper which is used in cash registers or tickets for events or public transportation contains chemicals that can harm recycled paper. This kind of paper can’t be recycled and goes in the general trash.

Glass

✔️ Glass bottles and jars

Do – Best practices for recycling correctly

  • Remove all lids and bottle caps and recycle them with the rest of your plastic waste.

Don’t – These things don’t go in the glass recycling:

  • Broken drinking glasses or plates. It seems very counterintuitive to not throw away drinking glasses in the same bin as the bottles. But they are composed of slightly different materials and can’t be melted together. They go in the trash, just like lightbulbs

 

What else?

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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  1. Doris Reina | 17 April, 2021

    I like !!!

  2. adriana | 22 June, 2020

    I Like this Blog

  3. adriana rodriguez | 22 June, 2020

    fine

  4. Daniel | 6 June, 2018

    I always try to bring my own lunch to work to avoid having to buy something packed in plastic.

    • Nicequest | 22 June, 2018

      That is a great habit! Small things like these do make an impact!

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