Despite the fact that it is 2019 and recycling has been a regular routine in many people’s lives, individuals still make mistakes as to what belongs in the blue bin. However, it can definitely be confusing to determine what things can be recycled at home and what cannot, especially when you’re considering mixed materials.
In order to mitigate the confusion as to what things goes in the blue recycling bin and what things don’t, below is a list of items that can be recycled. If you aren’t in the habit of recycling already, definitely consider the list below. Recycling reduces the amount of waste that goes to landfills and conserves both natural resources and energy. We’ve all heard of global warming, it’s important that we do what we can to make our world a healthier and better place!
Below is a list of 6 things that can be recycled at home:
1. Bottles and Jars
Anything that can be found in your kitchen that is a bottle, jar or container is likely recyclable as a general rule of thumb. This includes both plastic and glass material bottles, jars or other containers of any colour including green, brown and clear. If you’re unsure of recyclable plastics, look on the container for a recycle symbol.
Be sure to clean out the bottles before you toss them in the recycling bin. Not only does this make the job of recycling plants easier thereby reducing the taxes we pay, it will reduce the chances of animals rummaging through your recycling bin in the night since there won’t be any lingering odors.
2. Cans and Other Metals
Tin, aluminum and steel cans are all recyclable. Food and beer cans are common examples of this type of recyclable among other cans that you could typically find in your kitchen. Aluminum foil and other aluminum cookware can also be put into the blue bin as this material can be recycled almost infinitely.
3. Paper and Paper Products
In general, anything made out of paper is recyclable. Cardboard boxes, loose paper, newspaper and magazines are all examples of paper products that can be recycled.
Where you have to watch out is paper products that are mixed with other materials. For example, many people think take out coffee cups are recyclable but they aren’t due to their waxy interior coat.
4. Batteries and Bulbs
Any type of battery can be recycled but shouldn’t be mixed with regular recyclables that you put in your blue bin. Car batteries, rechargeable batteries and regular batteries all fall into this category. Since batteries can’t be mixed with regular recyclables, reach out to your local municipality to identify where they can be disposed of properly.
Incandescent bulbs, LED bulbs and fluorescent bulbs can also be recycled the same way as batteries are recycled. Again, reach out to your local municipality to determine where they can be disposed of.
Old electronics that you don’t use anymore can be recycled, although, not with regular recyclables. This type of waste is referred to as e-waste and is composed of many valuable components that can be reused. Copper, gold, silver, platinum, palladium and lead can all be recovered from old electronics and used again for other electronics.
Computers, televisions, printers, photocopiers, cell phones and stereos are all examples of old electronics that can be recycled. To determine where to recycle old electronics, contact your local municipality to identify where they can be disposed of.
6. Food Scraps
Perhaps this item isn’t really considered to be a traditional recyclable, but it is still worth discussing. Food scraps will decompose over time which creates compost or biofuel. Examples of food scraps are meat, dairy, produce, bread and fish.
Unfortunately, recycling food scraps is not always an option depending on where you live. If you’re unsure, look up your local city or town garbage policies to determine if food scrap recycling is an option. Often, this type of recyclable goes into a green bin.
Things That Can’t Be Recycled
Now that you know what can be recycled, it is important to understand what strictly can’t be recycled:
- Plastic bags or wrap, plastic or metal bottle caps, foam containers, soiled paper products, broken glass, fast food packaging and plastic utensils cannot be recycled despite the fact that they are essentially made out of recyclable materials.
- Glass also has certain limitations as to what can be recycled. Ceramics, dishware, ovenware and decorative items cannot be recycled, even if made from glass, in addition to heat resistant glass, mirror or window glass and crystal.
- As for the other non-traditional recyclables, microwaves, smoke alarms or detectors, thermometers, extremely large appliances (such as fridges), non-disinfected medical equipment and units containing sludge or liquids cannot be recycled.
Since you know all about what can and can’t be recycled, you don’t have an excuse to mix up what goes in the blue bin or not recycle at all. Help make the world a better place by conserving our resources!