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Do’s and Don’ts of Recycling


Given the opportunity, we can all make positive decisions for the environment. There are many ways that we can live greener and reduce our ecological footprint. It’s our duty to do as much as possible to preserve our world for many generations to come. One of the easiest and most effective ways to practice an environmentally friendly lifestyle is to recycle. In most communities, there are designated bins or facilities like cardboard balers that accept materials for recycling. This is super cool because it means that recycling is realistic because we can all get the correct items to the correct facilities. To be the most effective recycler you can be, there are some simple rules to follow. To point out a few of these rules, we have gathered some dos and don’ts of recycling. If you are read these and want to know more then you can also check out these interesting facts about recycling.

Do check for your regional specifications. Not all recycling plants are set up to handle the same items. Use an online search to find recycling guidelines in your community. Be able to identify what is recyclable in your area and which local recycling centers take specific items. This knowledge will help keep recyclable items away from landfills.

Do flatten your cardboard boxes, bottles and juice boxes. By getting the air out of them, there will be room for more items in your recycle bins, therefore, leading to fewer pickups and potentially lower costs.

Do rinse all the containers, bottles, cans, boxes or any other items that have had food in them prior to recycling.

Do separate your recycling items if they require separating in your area.

Do check to see if the recycling plants in your area accept lids on plastic bottles. If they don’t, make sure to toss the lids into the trash before recycling the bottles.

Do learn about plastic grades and know which numbers are accepted in your area. As a general rule, recyclable plastic numbered one, two, four or five are accepted at most recycling plants.

Do recycle aluminum foil. Reuse the foil as much as possible and then wipe it clean before tossing it into the recycle bin.

Do recycle your junk mail, non-sensitive mail, newspapers, magazines and such unless they are soiled. Even envelopes with plastic windows can usually be recycled.

Don’t put your recycling items in plastic bags. They will block up the sorting machines in a recycling plant causing a halt in the process and expenses to repair the blockage.

Don’t recycle your grocery bags. There are very few facilities that are able to recycle them. Reuse them as much as possible then check to see if your grocery store offers a drop off station for recycling these items.

Don’t put the greasy part of cardboard pizza boxes in the recycling bin. You can cut the oily part out, toss it in the trash and then recycle the rest.

Don’t put batteries or electronic items in with your regular recycling items. Many items like electronics, wires and such can be recycled but only at certain recycling plants. Certain stores have a drop off section for recycling these particular items.

Don’t recycle food. You can compost by yourself or at farmers markets that offer this service. Make sure no food waste gets into your recycling pile.

Don’t put any non-recyclable garden waste or trash in with the recycling items. If waste and recyclables are mixed, some places simply deem the whole group as non-recyclable and therefore all the items can end up in a landfill.

By investing a little time and educating yourself, you can help to preserve our beautiful planet one step and one item at the time. For items that require separate drop-off locations, designate a container for each category in your space then schedule time to make drop-offs. Whether an item is recyclable or not, try to re-use it as many times as possible before disposing of it. For example, something as simple as reusing wrapping paper or a piece of foil might not seem that important but just imagine if every one of us did a little it would make a big difference. Let’s do it together since, after all, we only have one world to share and enjoy.

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