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12 Recycling Do's and Don'ts

What kind of paper can be recycled, and what can't? Where should you take your old electronics? And can pizza boxes be recycled? Make sure you are recycling correctly with these 12 handy tips from the Domestic CEO.

By
Amanda Thomas,
Episode #148

Most people agree that recycling is good for the environment. And when we have a choice between sending something to a landfill or having it recycled in to a new and wonderful product, most of us would likely want to prevent it from clogging a landfill, too.

The challenge is that many items we send to recycling plants actually end up in a landfill, anyway. So to make sure that you are sending the right stuff to be reused, I have compiled a list of the top Dos and Don’ts for recycling.

Do: Check for Local Requirements

Not all recycling plants are set up to handle the same items, so check to make sure what can be collected in your area - specifically, which plastics can be recycled.

Those little numbers on the bottom of plastic items may not seem like a big deal to you, but sending items that are not meant to be recycled wastes manpower, because the unusable items need to be manually removed.

Do: Separate Your Items (When Required)

Some cities require that trash items be separated into specific bins. Typically, all paper recyclables go together, with plastics in another bin, glass in another, and metals in another.

So be sure to separate your items correctly - if your city requires it. Where I live, we are allowed to toss everything into one large recycling bin, which is very convenient, but that is not the case everywhere.

Don’t: Bag Your Recycling

Plastic bags can clog the sorting machines in a recycling plant, which then take time and money to unclog. Fight the urge to bag your recycling, and simply dump it from your bin into the collection bin, instead.

Do: Recycle Plastic Bags Separately

Just because plastic bags shouldn’t go in to the main recycling bin doesn’t mean they aren’t recyclable - they just have to be processed separately. Most grocery stores have special bins for all your clean, empty plastic bags, so collect them at home and take them in on your next trip to the store.

Don’t: Recyle Food

Food is compostable, but not recyclable. Make sure your food cans, bottles, and containers are clean of all food residue before putting them in to the recycling bin.

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