While recycling is an important, admirable pursuit, it’s important to make sure that you do it correctly. Even though recycling is helpful, it’s important to do it the right way because doing it improperly could lead to issues down the line. Here are four things you shouldn’t put in your recycling bin.
Some people subscribe to the idea that all plastics are the same and that they should all be recycled in the same way. This isn’t true though! Plastics that come in packaging containers should be recycled normally and plastic bags should be recycled separately. This is because these bags can get tangled up in the machinery at recycling plants and cause them to have issues. Instead, recycle your plastic bags in specialized containers you can find at your grocery store.
Frozen Food Boxes
After eating a microwavable meal, it can become a reflex to place the box it came in into your recycling bin. While you can recycle these boxes, you shouldn’t put them into your common recycling collection. This is because the cardboard used to make these boxes is often coated with a wax that prevent them from being broken down completely when they are supposed to be recycled. This also could be said for those cardboard containers of milk that people buy sometimes. When you’re thinking about recycling things like these containers, you should contact your local waste management company for advice.
Paper that has been soiled with grease or other substances are better left to decompose organically instead of being recycled, so composting them is a great option. The grease or other debris that is on these paper materials (like paper bags) is considered a contaminant, which makes it very difficult to recycle. This is because the fibers can’t separate themselves from whatever is staining the bag.
Brightly Colored Paper
Though recycling newspaper is fine, recycling paper that is brightly colored (like construction paper) is not advisable at all. The dyes that are included in these papers could bleed onto the other not-colored papers that are being recycled. This might seem like a cosmetic issue with very few consequences but in reality, it can negatively affect the quality of the other recycled paper. Make sure to remember not to include any brightly colored paper in your regular recycling.
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