What Household Items Cannot Be Recycled
What Common Household Items Cannot Be Recycled in Your Bin?
Do you recycle in your home? If not what are you waiting for! Recycling is great, it saves energy and prevents unnecessary waste which helps create a healthier environment for all of us.
While recycling is important, it’s also important to know what things cannot be recycled through your local curbside recycling program. It turns out there are quite a few items you should be keeping out of your bin, either because they will end up in the landfill anyways or could potentially damage recycling equipment.
Take a look at the list below and keep it handy the next time you go to take out the recycling:
Glossy paperboard materials, such as coffee cups and juice boxes, are lined with a plastic that is hard to separate from the paper. For this reason, most recycling programs won’t accept the following items:
- Paper Coffee Cups
- Juice Boxes
- Frozen Food Boxes
- Chip Bags
The odds are that you won’t be able to recycle the items above, but there are some notable exceptions. Make sure you double-check your local recycling rules just to be on the safe side.
You cannot recycle colored paper for the same reason you can’t wash your pink shirts with your white ones. The dyes used in colored paper easily run, producing an inferior paper product that mills won’t accept. For that reason, you should keep construction paper and card stock out of your bin. Don’t worry, sticky notes, fortunately, are accepted by most recyclers.
Plastic Grocery Bags
Many recycling facilities usually discard plastic bags because they’re equipment is only suitable for rigid plastics, such as bottles. But while your curbside collection program probably can’t accept plastic bags, your local grocery or big-box store might.
Anything With Food Sticking to It
Materials stained with food introduce contaminants into the recycling process, potentially gumming up the machines used in recycling facilities. To avoid creating headaches for your local municipal solid waste worker, do not recycle any of these things:
- Greasy Pizza Boxes
- Used Paper Plates
- Used Napkins/Paper Towels
- Unrinsed Take-out Containers
- Unrinsed Jars
Modern energy-efficient lightbulbs, such as LEDs and compact fluorescents, can be recycled. (However, they must be dropped off at a local recycler or collection center in order to be properly recycled.) Older incandescent lightbulbs generally cannot be recycled and should be thrown out with the trash.
To play it safe, don’t recycle something if you’re unsure whether it can be or not. Avoid throwing the materials above into your recycling bin, while you may think you’re helping, you’re actually making your local recycler’s day a lot harder. For more information about disposing your household waste, call us at Waste Solutions 123!