Whether you have just started recycling at home or at work, or you have been doing it for some time, it’s always a good idea to remind yourself of what you should put in your recycling bins. You also need to know what you can’t put in there.
Here are 10 things you should not throw in recycling bins.
1. Used pizza boxes
Who doesn’t love pizza? Unfortunately, pizza boxes that are stained with grease and sauce can’t be recycled, even though they are made from cardboard. Whenever you order pizza, keep in mind that you can’t recycle the box.
2. Paper coffee cups
You might think that paper coffee cups can be recycled, but it isn’t the case. Paper coffee cups are made with some sealant that generally isn’t accepted at recycling plants, so don’t throw them in recycling bins.
3. Used paper towels and plates
Paper towels and paper plates can be recycled, right? Well, no, not if they have been used. If you try to recycle towels and plates soaked with grease and oil, they could ruin an entire batch of recycled paper.
4. Milk and juice cartons
Milk and juice cartons can be recycled in some areas, but not everywhere. If you want to make sure, get in touch with your city hall to ask if you can recycle cartons before throwing them in recycling bins.
5. Plastic bags and film
Plastic bags and film are not accepted at recycling plants, because they tend to shut down or damage the equipment used to sort recyclable materials. It’s best to bring your plastic bags someplace where they can safely be recycled.
6. Some types of plastic
Did you know that not all types of plastic can be recycled everywhere, even if they show the recycling triangle symbol? Plastic will be marked with a number from 1 to 7, and you need to know which numbers your local recycling center will accept.
7. Shredded paper
Recycling shredded paper is more difficult, so many paper mills won’t even accept shredded paper. Don’t use your paper shredder unless you really need to make some confidential documents disappear.
8. Brightly coloured paper
Some paper mills won’t accept brightly coloured paper either, because it can end up ruining a whole batch of paper. It might be a better idea to leave these colourful sheets of paper out of your recycling bins.
9. Broken glass
Glass can be recycled, but be careful with broken glass. It could injure the people working at the recycling center, and it probably won’t even be transformed into new glass bottles and containers because it would be too difficult to separate different colours of broken glass.
10. Dirty containers
Finally, it’s always best to wash and rinse your plastic bottles, glass bottles, or other recyclable food containers before putting them in recycling bins, if only to keep these bins clean and to prevent foul smells.