Everyone knows about recycling but how many of you know that tossing empty bottles is okay only after removing the bottle cap? Maybe a few of you, right? Plastic bottles and plastic bottle caps are made of different materials which means bottle caps are not as useful for recycling centers as the plastic found in bottles. It may even surprise you to know that many paper products cannot be recycled as brightly colored paper release dye that contaminates the entire paper recycling process, and shredded paper has paper fiber that is considered too short for recycling.
Till now I felt like I am a person who is reasonably educated about recycling. After all, I have been doing this since I was a kid but I guess I was wrong! When it comes to what’s OK to recycle — and what is OK to trash? The rules seem to change a lot. Rules may even vary depending on where you live, because everything’s recycled at the local level. Apart from that, aluminum cans are wrapped in paper, paper cartons are coated in plastic, plastic containers have cardboard in them. It’s confusing. Fret not!
The following post is meant to guide you on certain things you should never throw in the recycling bin as well as in landfills.
- Light bulbs– Whether you use CFL or fluorescent or any other bulb, they all contain mercury which is not suitable for recycling. In fact, it’s illegal in some states to put CFLs in trash. Instead, they’ll need to go to a recycling center equipped to dispose of the toxic chemicals safely.
- Pyrex– Are you thinking about tossing your broken bakeware out with your jars? If so, don’t do it! Because glass like Pyrex is treated to survive high temperatures, it also won’t melt down correctly with the rest of your glass. All you can do is wrap it up so that broken glass can’ hurt sanitation handlers, then place the glass in your trash.
- Drinking glasses– Much like Pyrex even drinking glasses are treated with chemicals that help them withstand both hot and cold temperature. This means their melting point is quite high. And since they won’t melt correctly with your typical glass jar, they mess up the recycling process for other types of glass. Simply, wrap them in paper to contain any shards, then leave them in the trash.
- Ceramics– Unlike glass, ceramics are unable to melt down for recycling. But that does not mean that your old mugs need to be disposed off in a landfill. In case, if they are in a good condition, donate them or else they can even be crushed down for concrete, gravel, and retaining walls, and more.
- Hangers– Wire hangers can successfully be recycled but they can often go to scrap metal businesses equipped to deal with the wiry shapes. Apart from this, it is really hard for disposal centers to know what type of plastic others are made of, so they are forced to trash those, too.
- Packing peanuts– Like any other foam-based product, one will really have a tough time in finding a place anywhere that will take your old packing peanuts. The best use could be reusing them the next time you send a package.
- Mirrors– Mirrors are not as easy as recycling other glass materials. Of course, a reflection coating helps mirrors do their jobs, but that treatment also makes it hard for recyclers to break them down. So simply, sell or donate an old mirror.
- Half-full aerosol cans– Do you think an aerosol can is a hazardous waste? Of course it is! So make sure its empty first. Look around for local recycling center to make sure they take empty aerosols. After all, there are certain locations that consider even empty cans hazardous. And one more thing, remove the plastic cap before tossing it in the recycling bin.
- Plastic bags-Each and every household has a “bag of bags,” but don’t empty your extras into the recycling bin when it gets to full. while plastic bags are recyclable, most facilities only have the means to deal with rigid plastics, like bottles and coffee lids.
- Bubble wraps– Much like plastic bags, we don’t have such technology to recycle a bubble wrap. Ask your local mail delivery service if they can reuse your bubble wrap or else consider a reliable packaging service provider that offers a high range of online Bubble Wrap in town. Check if they might accept bubble wraps too!