A Comprehensive Recycling Guide

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While it is common sense that recycling is a good thing, some myths around recycling continue to persist. Many of these myths are around the idea that recycling is a “business” that tells people that recycling is good, in order just to make money. The other common myth is that recycling doesn’t do that much for the environment. Both of these are not backed up with facts. Below we will review the facts regarding why you should recycle, how to recycle and what should never be recycled.

One American is responsible for creating 4.4 pounds of waste every day. That means that in the US alone over 262 million tons of waste piles up every year. Recycling helps reduce the amount of this waste that is going straight to landfills.

Below are useful guidelines that cover recycling for most American cities. Keep in mind that you might have additional options, as the rules, and options of what to recycle can vary from one city, county or country to the next. There are various websites that will allow you to research what is allowed in your area, so be sure you look to see what applies to you and the curbside services in your city or county.

Why Recycle

There are many benefits to recycling that have been proven over time. Some of the debates around recycling are about the cost of recycling versus disposing in a landfill. It is true that with some items recycling can cost more than disposal, being a conscious recycler has been proven to be better for the environment than disposing of things in a landfill. Now, let’s discuss the benefits of recycling more specifically.

1) Cuts Down Emissions

By choosing recycled materials, whether in the store or in the manufacturing process, to make new products, we see a reduction of the need to source virgin materials for new products. This avoids greenhouse gas emissions that would result from the manufacturing process, sourcing extracting or mining for new materials.

Another thing to consider is that when we put waste into a landfill, it quickly starts to rot, which creates another way that the waste emits greenhouse gases.

2) Saves Energy

Reusing items that are currently available, takes less energy than making a totally different item. For instance, the measure of energy it takes to create one virgin aluminum to can produce 20 recycled cans! Since more than one billion aluminum jars are produced each year in the US, you can perceive how a lot of vitality reusing jars could spare. Far and away superior, a few things, similar to aluminum can be reused uncertainly without corrupting!

When we reuse plastic, we save more than 80% of the energy that it would take to create new plastic items.

3) It Conserves Natural Resources

One of the only ways to dramatically conserve some of the Earth’s natural recourses is to recycle. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency recycling one ton of paper saves up about 17 trees and 17,000 gallons of water! Not only that, but for every 1 ton of plastic that is recycled, it is estimated that 7 yards of landfill space is conserved.

4) Protects the Seas

Did you know that 90% of the trash that is floating on the surface of oceans is various forms of plastic? That means there are about 46,000 pieces of plastic trash and waste per square mile of ocean.

Plastics cause irreparable harm to the seas. Scientist have found that over 1,000,0000 birds that live near the sea and over 100,000 marine animals are killed by this plastic pollution each year. In fact, 44% of seabirds, 22% of crustaceans, a are known to have plastic in their bodies! When we choose to recycle or reuse plastic, instead of disposing of it in a landfill, we will secure our seas.

5) Less Utilization of Petroleum derivatives

Plastics make up over 12% of the trash in any US landfill. This is means that 30 million tons of plastic is thrown into a landfill each year! Most plastics can be reused endlessly, which implies that as opposed to being in a landfill, they could be utilized to make new items.

If we are reusing plastic it means that we are making less new plastic. Since, plastics are produced using non-renewable energy source hydrocarbons, this implies we would utilize less petroleum products, actually, reused plastic saves up to 16.3 barrels of oil!

6) Prods Development

Numerous new companies are built on the concept of utilizing recycled or reused materials to make another brand or item. Be that as it may, enormous enterprises and organizations are likewise discovering approaches to use reused materials in their plans of action. Far and away superior, contemplates have discovered that buyers will support organizations that feature the items that "green" manufacturing.

7) Lifts the Economy

Reusing a huge amount of refuse has a monetary effect that is multiple times more noteworthy than if covering it in a landfill. Reusing one ton of waste will pay $101 more in compensation, produce $275 more in merchandise and ventures, and create $135 more in deals that what tossing it in a landfill would make.

8) Decreases the Utilization of Landfills

Today, in the only us, we dump in excess of 100 million tons of junk into landfills. While that is down from what it was in the 1980's, it is as yet a lot of trash to dispose of. We reuse 32% of waste is occupied away from landfills because of reusing. Nonetheless, as much as 60% of waste that is as of now being sent to landfills could be reused.

9) Diminishes Contamination

Reusing decreases contamination by eliminating the creation and assembling of new or virgin items and by keeping away from cremation. Burning places smoke and garbage into the air and pollutes the water.

What to do Before Recycling

Although recycling is a great way to cut down on the waste that we send to a landfill, there are few things to consider before dumping an item in the recycle bin.

Think: Reduce and Reuse

reduce and reuse

Continuously consider what you could reuse before or instead of buying something new. Start by considering what you could change or eliminate in your routine. The general objective of reusing and recycling is to eliminate the amount of waste we produce. In the event that you are throwing away several water bottles maybe, the time has come to get a reusable one. Or on the off chance that you are buying new jars or containers perhaps consider how they could be washed and utilized for another reason.

A few different ways that you can lessen your waste include:

  • Using washable napkins instead of purchasing papers ones.
  • Reuse glass holders for different purposes.
  • Buy a water channel and a refillable jug for water, rather purchasing jug water.
  • Consider utilizing silicone sheets rather than aluminum foil.
  • Swap out utilizing body wash with its plastic holder for bar cleanser.
  • Instead of utilizing dark colored sacks for lunch, get a reusable lunch box.
  • Consider utilizing fabric diapers rather than dispensable ones.
  • Buy natural cotton produce packs as opposed to utilizing the plastic ones gave at the market.
  • Buy reusable metal or glass straws rather than the plastic ones.

Purchase Recycled

It is helpful to think about how we can bolster recycling by purchasing recycled reused items. It is assessed that we would spare 544,000 trees if each family unit in the US supplanted their paper towels with 100% recycled ones!

How about we talk about the motivations to recycle, how to appropriately recycle and in conclusion, what not to recycle.

How to Recycle Correctly

In 2019 authorities in India declared that they would never again accept or purchase plastic recycling imports from the US. They announced this decision in an effort to help battle the contamination that is discharged when they use recycling that came from the US.

In 2018 China quit accepting practically all recycled materials that were imported from the US, including paper and plastic, mostly because of how debased the imports have become.

Below are a few things remember, so that you can be sure that you are recycling the right way:

Clean and Dry

Ensure that anything that you put out for your curbside reusing is spotless, empty and completely dry. A general guideline is that your recycling ought to be cleaned sufficiently enough for you to utilize once more. This keep contaminants from getting into the recycling procedure. On the off chance that contaminants get into the recycling procedure, it can cause entire recycling load to be sent to the landfill.

Consider Reusing

The EPA appraises that 21% of what is in a landfill is nourishment, making it the biggest segment of a landfill. Before tossing nourishment out, consider in the event that it merits sparing, giving or in any event, utilizing a fertilizer.


Clean glass jugs and containers can be recycled curbside. Numerous suppliers do ask that the glass and paper be cleaned and isolated into legitimate containers.

Paper Bags

Brown paper bags can be recycled in your curbside receptacles. Simply be certain that your paper sacks don't have oil or grease on them. If they do, you should throw them into the trash, instead of recycling.


You can put magazines in your curbside bin. But it might be better if you see if you can donate them to your local library or non-profit. Just make sure to throw out any magazines that have water damage.

Aluminum Cans

You can recycle can curbside. Just be sure to rinse them before you place them in the bin.

Aluminum Foil

You can’t recycle things that have food or grease one them. Since aluminum foil is usually used to cover or cook food, it usually has bits that are stuck to it. In some cases, you might be able to rinse the foil. But, most of the time, you are going to need to throw foil away.

Items You Should Never Recycle

Sometimes recycling is simple. You know you can recycle a cardboard box, or a soda can. But sometimes it’s not that easy. There are somethings that we tend to think can be recycled, that simply can’t be. While, if you’re not sure if something can be recycled, it might be tempting to just add it to the bin in the hope that there’s a way to recycle it. This is called “wishcycling,” and it does more harm than good.

In order to keep our recycling system healthy, it is just as important to leave stuff out of the recycling bin as it is to correctly recycle. If you try to recycle items that shouldn’t or can’t be recycled, it harms the recycling process. Sometimes these items really slow down the recycling facility operations so that fewer overall materials can be processed by the facility each day, which hurts the health of the recycling business and by default, the environment.

By paying attention to what you’re putting in the recycling bin you can help keep the recycling system strong, clean and free from contaminants

Here are some of the things that either need a special process to recycle or can’t be recycled and should never be put in your curbside recycling bin.

1) Styrofoam

This is one of the things that numerous individuals know not to reuse. It's made of a materiel called polystyrene, which isn't biodegradable. The best arrangement is to dodge Styrofoam through and through, if conceivable.

2) Batteries

Most batteries can’t be recycled using the standard recycling service that comes to your home. However, single-use batteries can be recycled at many locations or using mail-in programs

3) Mirrors

Mirrors can't be recycled because of the covering utilized on the glass to make it reflective. In the event that mirror glass gets into the recycling with standard glass, it will make the ordinary glass unusable.

4) Wire Hangers

If you didn’t know, wire hangers can't generally be recycled because they aren't made of unadulterated metal. A few places like New York City will allow you to toss your wire hangers in with the rest of your recycling, but most places won't accept them. The best way to recycle wire hangers is to donate them.

5) Bottle Caps

In most cities you can recycle a plastic bottle, the bottle cap isn't recyclable. This is because they're often made from a type of plastic that can't be recycled. It is likewise best to ensure that plastic containers are squashed before adding them to your reusing.

6) Plastic Sacks

Plastic sacks require an alternate assortment framework and handling hardware than numerous curbside reusing programs offer. In a typical recycling process these sacks get folded over the riggings of the hardware and can cause significant issues. Plastic bags are useful to have around, though. Ideas for other ways to reuse plastic bags.

7) Polystyrene Foam

While you may not know what this is immediately, it is the type of foam that is used in egg cartons, takeout containers and cups. It has a coating that makes it impossible to recycle. The best way to use these items is to find ways to reuse them. If you can’t reuse them, then put them in the regular garbage.

8) Diapers

Numerous individuals attempt to place their filthy diapers in recycling. They are not recyclable. They are made of various woven materials and as with food, recycling needs to be clean. Obviously, dirty diapers are not clean.

9) Anything smaller than credit card

Small items are impossible to separate in the recycling process, so anything smaller than a credit card should not be put in the recycling bin. This includes straws, bottle caps, plastic cutlery and even coffee pods.

10) Anything that can easily tangle around stuff

The recycling machines can get stuck or clogged with things that are small but sturdy or anything that can tangle around their apparatus. Fundamentally, in the event that you can tie it up, don't attempt to recycle it. This incorporates things like Christmas lights, garden hoses, chains and earphones cords.

There are a few programs that can help you “upcycle” items that otherwise should not be recycled. Companies like TerraCycle, Preserve and, Aveda Corporation have built a demand for hard-to-recycle products, like the ones mentioned above.

Other companies are beginning see that consumers will support companies that produce green products, which will lead to greater utilization of them in the manufacturing process.

Bottom Line

In the event that you follow the tips laid out above, you will be a dependable recycler. It is significant that we comprehend when to lessen or reuse, versus reuse, and that we follow the rules for what can be gotten curbside, versus what needs extraordinary dealing with. Recollect that you vote with your dollar, so attempt to purchase things that are bundled with reused materials and pick reusable choices at whatever point they are accessible.

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