Trash Vs Recyclables: Learning How To Sort Your Waste

Thanks to the many advancements in technology over the last decade, it is now possible to recycle more of your household waste than ever before. Unfortunately, far too many people are simply unaware of what items can be placed in their recycling bin rather than their garbage can. As a result, local landfills are quickly filling up with items that could have been recycled. Taking a moment to learn more about what you can and cannot recycle will allow you to effectively sort your waste and become part of the solution to this global problem.

Paper Products

People often believe that all paper products can be recycled. However, this is not the case. While many paper products can be placed in your recycling bin, there are some notable exceptions that you should be aware of. These exceptions include:

  • paper towels
  • napkins
  • wrapping paper
  • paper products that contain bodily fluids, such as facial tissues
  • waterproof cardboard
  • plastic lined cardboard

Metal Products

Metal products are not only recyclable, but they are consistently in high demand. In fact, so many manufacturers are now relying on recycled metal materials that most recycling centers will be willing to pay you to recycle your old scrap metal. This includes both large items, such as appliances, and small items, such as your used soda cans.

While all types of metal can be recycled, you will find that there are certain products that your local recycling center will refuse to take. In most cases, this is due to the materials that were once kept in these products rather than because the metal cannot be recycled. For instance, while steel can be recycled, a steel gas tank will be turned away because of the combustible materials it once held. The same is true of materials such as paint cans and other containers that once held potentially dangerous substances.

Glass Products

Glass is one of the few areas where there are fewer things that can be recycled than things that cannot. This is because many of the glass products on the market today have been manufactured using special additives to give the glass exceptional qualities. For instance, most window glass is now coated with special materials that allow the glass to filter out UV rays. As a result, this type of glass cannot be recycled.

There are still several glass items that can be recycled. These items include:

  • glass bottles and jars
  • green or blue glass
  • glass food containers

Plastic Products

With many products being packaged using plastic, this category offers virtually unlimited potential when it comes to cutting down on how much waste you send to the local landfill each week. When sorting your waste, be sure that the following items end up in your recycling bin rather than the trash can.

  • milk bottles
  • plastic products labeled #1–7
  • laundry detergent bottles
  • shampoo and body wash containers
  • take-out containers

When inspecting your plastic products, you will find that virtually all plastic can in fact be recycled. The only notable exception to this rule is styrofoam. Visit a recycling service like Recycle-It Resource Recovery today to do your part in recycling the earth's resources.