What should not be recycled

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The average American generates around 4.5 pounds of waste a day. Much of this ends up in our landfills, waterways, and oceans, negatively affecting our environment. By recycling, we will save the space in our landfills, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserve natural resources, and saves energy, to name a few of the benefits of recycling.

It is why it is so crucial for us to learn how we can do a better job eliminating waste and using renewable products, learning what we can recycle and what we should never try and recycle is an important key. We are sure that we have all been guilty of tossing something into the recycle bin that should not be recycled. Innocently enough, we do it trying to help the environment, and yet we are doing damage.

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Everyday Household items not to be recycled

  • Aerosole cans, even though they are metal, many contain substances and chemicals that are considered and treated as hazardous materials.
  • Batteries should be handled separately from curbside trash pick up and recycling.
  • Diapers contain a lot of plastic and paper, but they are not feasible to commercially recycle.
  • Household glass,¬†including window panes, mirrors, light bulbs, and tableware, are impractical to recycle. Bottles and jars, when cleaned properly, are usually ok.
  • Juice boxes, coated cardboard containers, and disposable coffee cups are not recyclable due to the coating and the materials used in manufacturing. Though some manufacturers are beginning to use recyclable materials, these are marked as such.
  • Paper products like paper towels, tissues, and napkins, are discouraged because of what they absorbed and the residues they hold. We would encourage you to try and compost them or use reusable items.
  • Pizza boxes contain to much grease and food debris.
  • Plastic bags and plastic wrap can be reused, or many grocery stores collect them to be recycled.
  • Yogurt cups and other food containers like butter tubs, and oil bottles are numbered 3-7 are not recycled through typical recycle centers.

That is just an abbreviated list of what we should not try and recycle. Many municipalities direct what, where, and how we should recycle, and often they provide you with the information you need to play your part. If you need more details on where you can recycle, head over to earth911 and enter your zip code to see what is available in your area.


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