Every day we throw away so much waste and unfortunately not enough of it goes into the recycling bin. Many people don’t even think about the recyclability of the things they throw away. There are items that are non-recyclable, but you can recycle or repurpose many others. Repurposing and recycling play a key role in keeping these items away from the landfills.
It is understandable that sometimes things can get confusing. Should you throw something away or recycle it? We have made a little breakdown to help you figure this out.
Although each city and waste-collection service is different there is a common list of recyclable items they accept.
Paper – you can recycle office paper, junk mail, cardboard, newspapers and magazines. Juice and milk cartons also fall into this category. You need to wash them first before you dispose of them.
Cans – you can recycle food and soda cans, baking pans and foil. Keep in mind that you should clean these before recycling them.
Glass – Glass is typically recyclable. Don’t throw away broken glass. You can repurpose old jars in different ways so keep that as an option.
Plastic – plastic containers can be recycled if they have a label that says they are recyclable.
Keep in mind that there are special items that can be recycled but they need to be placed in marked bins. Things like lightbulbs, empty cartridges, plastic bag, batteries can be recycled at some shops or public facilities. Antibiotics and expired drugs should be placed in special containers in pharmacies and hospitals. Never throw away drugs in the regular trash bin! Clothing, shoes and other textiles can be reused, donated or repurposed.
There are items that are hard to recycle. It is important to know them very well because throwing away something which is not recyclable in the recycle bin is a much worse option. If you want to avoid generating a lot of waste just go for alternative materials or reusable items.
Food wrapping – potato chips bags and plastic wrap cannot be recycled. The same goes for products with plastic coatings like disposable cups, frozen-food boxes and more.
Diapers and hygienic pads – the plastic from these items is non-recyclcable. However, there are alternatives to minimize waste like cotton pads, menstrual cups and textile diapers.
Styrofoam – Styrofoam containers and cups are not recyclable. Pizza boxes and other containers with food residue are impossible to recycle.
Be mindful when throwing items away. The simple action of separating your waste has a huge impact on the recycling process and helps to save the environment!