Recycling programs accept a wide-range of recyclable materials. But sometimes we get a little too enthusiastic and put inappropriate items into curbside carts or drop-off sites, hoping those items will be recycled.
When this happens, we call it “wish-cycling.” Some of these items are actually trash and placing them in the recycling bin can contaminate items that are truly recyclable and can also cause increased costs at sorting centers. Recycle better by putting only items recycled in your local program into recycling bins.
Diapers should NEVER be placed in recycling bins, and neither should old garden hoses or broken toys. Here are some other recycling don’ts: dishes, cookware, paper towels or tissues, window or mirror glass, soiled pizza and fast food boxes. Keep these items OUT of your recycling. This is not a complete list. Check with your local solid waste management office to make sure you don’t put in materials they cannot recycle.
When non-recyclables are mixed with recyclables, those items must be pulled off the sorting line — often by hand. After they are removed, they must be landfilled. So, time and money are spent hauling trash twice, more than doubling the cost.
There’s an easier way to do this. Please keep trash out of your recycling. Think quality, not quantity. Make sure you are recycling correctly and being realistic about what goes into recycling bins. When in doubt, throw it out.
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