Going Green: What Can and Can't Be Recycled

Nov 11, 2015

Many of us regularly recycle soda cans and water bottles, but did you know that many other food and beverage containers and household items also are recyclable? Take a look at the list below for some guidelines for what you can put into your community-provided recycling bin and what should be handled by a waste management professional. Of course, this list is just a basic guide. Please be sure to check with you association and local municipality to ensure that these guidelines are consistent with their rules.

Metal. Aluminum cans, foil and bakeware all are recyclable, as well as steel and tin cans used to package food and beverage items. Ensure these items are free of any food particles prior to putting them into your recycling bin—if they’re dirty, recycling facilities may not accept them.

Paper and cardboard. Computer paper, phone books, junk mail, magazines, paperback books, newspapers and cardboard all are fully recyclable and typically can be made into other paper products like egg cartons and packaging forms. Poly-coated paperboard materials like milk and juice boxes also can be recycled.

Glass. Most clear, brown and green glass items used for food and beverage items are recyclable and can be broken down and made into other glass products. However, some glass items like ceramic dishware and ovenware, heat-resistant glass, mirror or window glass, or crystal are not recyclable.

Plastic. Clean plastic items in the shape of bottles, jars and jugs are almost always recyclable, but plastic bags are not. Typically, grocery stores collect plastic bags for recycling facilities that specialize in producing recycled plastic lumber.

Batteries and Bulbs. Car, household and rechargeable batteries are recyclable, but most waste management companies will not accept them via community recycling bins. Along with incandescent, LED and fluorescent light bulbs, these items require special handling. Check the county website for recycling information.

Electronics. Computers and computer accessories, cell phones, stereos, televisions and printers are all nearly 100 percent recyclable, but should be handled by a waste management professional rather than put out at the curb with the rest of your recycling. Check the web for local retailers and manufacturers that offer recycling programs for these items.


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