If you’re really passionate about saving the planet, recycling is probably at the top of your to-do list. But despite all that hard work, are you recycling right in the first place?
Recycling is a great first step towards reducing waste in your household. But a lot of people tend to misunderstand the rules of recycling. Including what can be recycled, what can’t, and how to treat your recycled items.
Here are some things you can do to make sure you’re recycling the right way.
Don’t Use Plastic Bags
It doesn’t matter if you think you’re recycling them, you shouldn’t use them at all.
Firstly, these plastic bags can’t be recycled in your usual pick-up. They have to be taken to a special drop off location that includes plastic bags.
Secondly, they’re actually very hard to recycle, often getting caught in the machinery, and they’re terrible for the environment as well.
So skip the bag. Take your own with you.
Watch The Size of Your Recycling
Anything smaller than a credit card, unfortunately, shouldn’t be recycled. Things like bottle caps and coffee pods are too small to be sorted and can jam the machine.
When the machines get jammed it creates a big problem for recycling centers and slows down their progress. That means that the little cap you recycled could actually prevent bigger items from getting through properly.
Combined Materials Cannot Be Recycled
Your coffee cup that’s both paper and plastic can’t be thrown in the recycle bin. The only things that can be recycled are like-items. Meaning all paper, all plastic, and all one material in general.
It’s best not to use any mixed material items so you don’t have to throw them away in the first place. Use a reusable coffee cup and avoid sending mail in bubble wrapped envelopes.
Empty, Clean & Dry
You should treat your recyclable materials like you do your dishes. Thoroughly clean them and let them dry before tossing them in the trash.
This extra step is a huge one when it comes to recycling. Anything with food remnants or liquids will be separated and tossed in the trash despite your attempt to recycle it.
Don’t let this happen! Take the time to fully clean your items to a point where you’d gladly eat off them again if you had to.
Don’t Recycle Nonrecyclable Things
Some people toss items they hope can be recycled in the recycle bin. Unfortunately, that’s not the way it works, and doing so creates a much bigger problem.
By combining your recycling with trash, you fully contaminate the recycling so that it can’t be recycled anymore. All of it will go to the trash and your effort to try and help the planets are for naught.
Be absolutely sure something can be recycled before you toss it in the bin to avoid any issues in the future.
Now that you know the big pitfalls of recycling, hopefully, you can avoid them. Good luck!