More recycling do’s and don’ts… answered.

I received a great response to my recent post about recycling paper.  Recycling always seems to be a great mystery, as so many cities and municipalities have varying rules.  When you consider that the average American produces 4.5 pounds of trash DAILY (75% of that IS alum cansrecyclable), we certainly want to make the right decisions.

It’s often hard to compile a “grand list” of everything you can and cannot do, but the best resource I can provide is earth911.  Simply enter your area code on the homepage and you will (hopefully) find your city or recycling resource to answer specific questions.

But, in the broad sense, I hope to help dispel some myths about the “real” answers for recycling… some may be a big surprise…

  • Paper – refer to my prior post… I think I covered it all!
  • Glass – rinse out the original contents as best you can.  Don’t worry about labels since they’ll be removed in processing. You CAN recycle the metal caps(!)… most recyclers will accept them.  Do NOT attempt to recycle treated glass, like plates, drinking glasses, windows, etc.  This glass is, unfortunately, contaminated due to the special “treatment” they have received.plstic bottles
  • Metals – every can should be hitting the recycling can!  Soup, soda, veggie cans (even the top you’ve removed)… they’re all recyclable.  Even wire coat hangers, aluminum foil, pie tins… include them all!  And a new revelation to me… aerosol cans, as long as they have not contained a hazardous waste.  I sincerely never knew they could be recycled, but just be sure they are EMPTY.  That is the key.  If your recycler does not accept them, they will be quickly weeded-out, but it’s worth a try!
  • Plastic – most plastic bottles and jugs (with necks narrower than the body) can be recycled, just be sure to remove the plastic caps.  They are a different type of plastic and can cause contamination in the recycling process.  Number 5 plastics are often questionable.  This is one where you should definitely refer to your local recycler, but remember that there is a use for Number 5’s!… don’t count them out and send them to the trash can too quickly!  They are also good candidates for the reuse category, although maybe not for food items, due to the plastic-leaching issues.

Take these tips, memorize them and soon your 75% of daily trash will find its way to the proper destination… the cherished land of “Recycleville!”

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"Going green" has always been a part of my daily life. It began, as a little girl, when I helped my mom gather the recyclables and deliver them to a recycling center. It continues today, as a mom myself, when I teach my own children those same responsible virtues.

There are so many more facets of going green in the modern day, and the definition of the term reaches far beyond simple recycling. But going green isn't just about installing solar panels on your rooftop... it's about all the little choices that make the biggest difference. From food choices, to cleaning your home, to saving money on your monthly utility bills and consumption; the choices are vast.

However, there is a popular misconception that "going green" will "cost you green." We're inundated with green products, eco-friendly formulas, organics and mountains of options, making it seem that going green is an investment rather than an opportunity.

Well, I'm here to help dispel that myth and actually show you all of the ways you can live green, keep your family healthy, and benefit the environment without sacrificing anything, including your money.

When you make wise choices to gain the most benefit, relieve the burden on the environment, and save money to use elsewhere, everyone wins. You've already taken the first step. You've come here for help to make it happen.

Put these tips into action, and you will soon find that you can "save green" while you "go green"!

7 thoughts on “More recycling do’s and don’ts… answered.

  1. I just saw another useful article on recycling here: http://tinyurl.com/ybjojj3. One thing they said that I hadn’t heard before was that you should leave caps on things like shampoo bottles (and similar items) after rinsing them out, in case there is any liquid left inside– when everything’s in the recycling truck, shampoo could contaminate other things like paper.

  2. Kirsten – thanks for the link. The bottle caps “on” contradict what I have always understood but that must be the preference of that recycler. I always rinse bottles thoroughly and just make sure there is nothing left inside! Thanks!

    Green Fundraising – Great! Glad it helped!

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