Making the Wrong Moves - 7 Things You Wrongly Recycle
Many households, especially today, are more conscientious about what they put in their recycling bin. It’s great that the effort is being made, but often items are placed in there without checking if they actually can be recycled.
Whether you choose to rent a 4-yard dumpster or you choose to go the more traditional route of using your local bin, the whole point of recycling is to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill, so it’s important we make sure we’re doing it right. Landfills might be a destined place for waste, but that doesn’t mean we should be careless about what goes in them. Here are 7 things you might be recycling wrong:
1. Greasy Pizza BoxesYou might have been separating your cardboard from your food waste, but did you know that putting a greasy pizza box in with the rest of your recycling can actually contaminate the whole batch? The grease from the pizza can seep into other materials and make them unable to be recycled. What you should do with greasy pizza boxes is tear them up and put them in with your food waste.
2. StyrofoamStyrofoam is not recyclable, but often people will try to recycle it anyway. The problem is that styrofoam is not biodegradable, so it will just sit in a landfill for years and years. If you have styrofoam, the best thing to do is to reuse it if you can or throw it away. On the other hand, if you really want to recycle it, there are some companies that will accept it, but you might have to do some research to find one.
3. Plastic BagsYou might think that because plastic bags are made of plastic, they can be recycled with the rest of your plastics. But the truth is, most recycling plants cannot recycle plastic bags because they get caught in the machinery. So what should you do with them? The best thing to do is to reuse or recycle them at a specific facility that accepts plastic bags. On the other hand, if you can’t do either of those things, then you should throw them away.
4. Disposable Coffee CupsDisposable coffee cups are often made of paper, but they also have a plastic coating that makes them difficult to recycle. So, unfortunately, most recycling plants will not accept them. However, some companies are working on ways to recycle these cups, so it might be worth checking with your local recycling facility to see if they accept them. In the meantime, the best thing to do is to reuse them.
5. Light Bulbs
Light bulbs are made of glass, but they can are not recycled with the rest of your glass. Because light bulbs contain mercury, they need to be disposed of properly. You can either take them to a recycling center that accepts them or you can dispose of them in your regular trash.
Furthermore, you should avoid throwing them in the recycling bin because they can break and contaminate other materials.
6. Aerosol CansAerosol cans are made of metal, but they also contain a propellant that makes them difficult to recycle. You can either take them to a recycling center that accepts them or you can dispose of them in your regular trash. Additionally, you should make sure the cans are empty before you recycle them. Most aerosol cans are not recyclable, but some are, so make sure you properly research and read the labels.
7. MirrorsYes, mirrors are made of glass, but they can’t be recycled with the rest of your glass. The reason is that mirrors are coated with a chemical that makes them reflective. So, if you want to recycle mirrors, you need to take them to a recycling center that accepts them. Most mirrors can be recycled, but you should check with your local recycling center to be sure.
With all of this in mind, the next time you go to recycle something, make sure you check to see if it can actually be recycled. It’s better to be safe than sorry! Moreover, whether you decide to recycle something or not, always remember to reduce, reuse, and recycle. The three main principles of sustainability!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Senior Content Creator
Aleksandra Djurdjevic is a senior writer and editor, covering snowboarding, skiing and trends in outdoor winter activities. She has previously worked as ESL teacher for English Tochka. Aleksandra graduated from the Comparative Literature department at the Faculty of Philosophy in Serbia. Aleksandra’s love for the mountains, getting out in the snow on her board, season after season, seeking wild snow adventures across the globe helps her continue to be a top expert at CSG.